Antidepressant Drugs in Pregnancy Lead to Autism
Recent studies show that the use of antidepressant drugs during pregnancy lead to a significant increase in autism in children. The April 2017 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association was titled “Association Between Serotonergic Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children.” The study analyzed 2,837 children of mothers who, during their pregnancy, took two or more consecutive prescriptions of the most common types of antidepressant drugs.
Those children were compared to women who did not take antidepressant drugs during their pregnancies. The article reported that children whose mothers took antidepressants had a 216% increase in autism (“4.51 per 1,000 person-years compared to 2.03 per 1,000 person-years”).
This study confirmed the results of previous studies which also found a similar 200% increase of autism in children whose mothers took antidepressant drugs during pregnancy.
Antidepressant Drugs No More Effective Than Placebos
What makes this all the more troublesome is that several studies have shown that antidepressant drugs are not statically significantly more effective than a placebo for patients experiencing mild to moderate depression. (Example: http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/185157)
By taking the drugs, patients are taking significant risks for a very small chance of benefit. There are far safer alternatives, including massage therapy.
Massage Therapy Alleviates Depression
Research has repeatedly proven that massage therapy for depressed pregnant women has a positive impact, by increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin, and decreasing levels of cortisol and norepinephrine. More importantly, massage therapy during pregnancy carries none of the risks that antidepressant drugs do.
Becoming a Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist
The Institute of Somatic Therapy offers online continuing education courses in prenatal massage, as well as doula training, infant massage, and fertility massage. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork) as a continuing education approved provider. Our courses are valid for AMTA, ABMP, and most states. Please refer to the state guidelines section of our website for specific information about your state.