Yes, the use of anti-depressants during pregnancy can cause serious problems for a developing baby. It is the duty of a doctor to educate their patients.
Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder that renders a person disabled for their entire life. The condition is generally diagnosed early in childhood, and in many cases, it is a result of a birth injury that was not properly managed. There are a variety of factors that can lead to the development of cerebral palsy.
During pregnancy, the health and well-being of the expecting mother is critical. By good health we do not just mean physical health, but also her mental health. Depression is a reality that many Americans face. The unique challenges associated with pregnancy can make things particularly difficult for women. There are anti-depressants available to help patients fight the symptoms, however, it is important to note that use of anti-depressants during pregnancy can cause serious problems for the developing baby. It is imperative that the medical professionals and OBGYN caring for a woman that is pregnant, help her understand this and take her off any such medications.
The Doctor’s Responsibility
While most of us are aware that one should not use alcohol or drugs during pregnancy, many women are not aware of the ill-effects of taking anti-depressants during pregnancy. Doctors cannot just assume their patients understand the side effects of the drugs that are being prescribed to them. Instead, it is the duty of the prescribing doctor to educate the patient.
Types of Anti-Depressants and the Risks
The risk of using anti-depressants during pregnancy is often associated with a number of popular medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These popular drugs are linked to a significant increase in birth defects, especially if a pregnant woman takes them in her first trimester. Some of the most common anti-depressants linked to birth injuries include:
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Citalopram (Celexa)
These anti-depressants can be effective in improving a person’s quality of life, however, they can prove dangerous to the health of an unborn baby. Children whose mother used anti-depressants during pregnancy may suffer from any of the following complications:
- Brain injuries and hypoxia that can result in conditions including Cerebral Palsy
- Heart defects
- Lung conditions such as Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Anal atresia
- Organ development problems including Omphalocele
- Limb reductions
- Limb malformation
- Spina bifida
When the mother knows that she used anti-depressants during pregnancy, and the child shows any symptoms of the aforementioned conditions, the parents should have the child examined. If the doctor failed to advice the pregnant woman against the use of anti-depressants, and it caused a birth injury to the child, the parents may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit or medical malpractice against the doctor at fault.
Contact a Chicago Birth Injury Attorney
Holding a doctor responsible for his medical error is challenging and should only be done by a skilled and experienced birth injury lawyer. Possible damages for compensation can include past and future medical expenses, lifelong care, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering along with a diminished quality of life. We aim to settle your case fairly, quickly, and utilize all the tools and testimonies available to resolve the matter.
Our lawyers at Willens Law Offices will work tirelessly to obtain for you the settlement you need and deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at (312) 957-4166 or fill out our online contact form.