Postnatal depression is a well-known mental-health problem but now research is highlighting the issue of depression in pregnancy. Researchers from the U.S. health company Kaiser Permanente and Duke University in North Carolina studied 791 pregnant women and found that 44% of them had some symptoms of depression, nearly half of which were severe. Those women with depressive symptoms had nearly twice the risk of a premature birth - something which is the number one cause of infant mortality. It is estimated that 500,000 pregnancies in the U.S. each year involve women who have psychiatric illnesses. Pregnant women are recommended to avoid paroxetine (Paxil) which may increase the risk of birth defects and SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) have also been linked to breathing and feeding problems.
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