Journal of Student Nursing Research


A literature review was conducted to evaluate and understand the effects of antidepressant medication during pregnancy and the ethical issues surrounding the topic. Through the discussion of three articles, the review weighed the effects of antidepressants on maternal and child health. Antidepressant medication during pregnancy poses relative risks to cause fetal complications and defects, though the risk remains very small. However, untreated depression may significantly impact the childbearing family, including premature births, low birth weights, miscarriages, and suicide. Clinicians often have misconceptions of the risks of untreated depression during pregnancy and could benefit from an increased understanding of the current literature when making treatment decisions. Nevertheless, an individual’s history, symptomatology, and an understanding of medications known to be harmful to the fetus should guide the choice of treatment. Further research may help solidify understanding among clinicians and the public and ultimately lead to improved health outcomes for both mother and child.