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Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Tied to Autism Risk

But the risk is low, and it's important to treat depression in pregnant women, experts say

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Shemesh added: "The one thing we really know with certainty is that depression is not good for pregnancy. Women who are depressed have bad outcomes and their kids don't do well. We need to treat depression, and there are psychotherapy options and medication options. You need to make a reasoned decision with your doctor. I would be very concerned about any woman just stopping her medication."

Montefiore's Frieder agreed that untreated depression is a serious risk, and recommended that women discuss the choice with their doctor and have an individualized risk/benefit assessment.

A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month said that one in 68 American children is now diagnosed with autism or a related disorder, which is a 30 percent increase from just two years ago when the estimate was one in 88 children.

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