The Risks Associated With Maternal Antidepressant Use During the Prenatal and Postnatal Stages of Development

Stolzer, Jeanne M.
July 2010
Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry;2010, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p86
Academic Journal
Over the past decade, maternal antidepressant use has skyrocketed in the United States. Maternal depression, which was once categorized as an extremely rare condition, is now the leading cause of disability in American women aged 18 to 44 (Stewart, 2005). In spite of the published data that document the risks associated with antidepressant use in maternal and pédiatrie populations, physicians throughout the United States continue to prescribe these drugs to pregnant and lactating women. Never before in the history of humankind have we witnessed the intentional drugging of pregnant women and nursing mothers in order to alleviate specific emotional feelings. This unprecedented drugging of maternal populations has led many in the scientific community to question the reliability of current-day depression assessments, as many scholars have pointed out that the available assessment tools are highly subjective and lack scientific validity. The goal of this article is to offer a scientifically sound alternative to the current medical model's definition and treatment of maternal depression and to explore the historical, neurological, hormonal, familial, political, economical, and cultural correlates that have been associated with maternal depression in the United States.


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