Objectives: To explore associations between exposure to antidepressants, their discontinuation, depression [medicated or unmediated] and preterm birth [<37 and <32 weeks], small for gestational age (SGA) [<10th and <3rd centiles], breastfeeding [any] at 6-8 weeks.
Methods: Design: A population-based cohort study. Setting: The Secure Anonymised Information Linkage [SAIL] databank in Wales, linking maternal primary care data with infant outcomes. Participants: 107,573, 105,331, and 38,725 infants born 2000-2010 with information on prematurity, SGA and breastfeeding respectively, after exclusions. Exposures: Maternal antidepressant prescriptions in trimesters 2 or 3, discontinuation after trimester 1, recorded diagnosis of depression [medicated or unmediated] in pregnancy. Methods: Odds ratios for adverse pregnancy outcomes were calculated, adjusted for smoking, parity, socio-economic status, and depression.
Results: Exclusive formula feeding at 6-8 weeks was associated with prescriptions in trimesters 2 or 3 for any antidepressants (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.81, 95% confidence intervals 0.67-0.98), SSRIs [aOR 0.77, 0.62-0.95], particularly higher doses [aOR 0.45, 0.23-0.86], discontinuation of antidepressants or SSRIs after trimester 1 (aOR 0.70, 0.57-0.83 and 0.66, 0.51-0.87), diagnosis of depression aOR 0.76 [0.70-0.82), particularly if medicated (aOR 0.70, 0.58-0.85), rather than unmedicated (aOR 0.87, 0.82-0.92). Preterm birth at <37 and <32 weeks' gestation was associated with diagnosis of depression (aOR 1.27, 1.17-1.38, and 1.33, 1.09-1.62), particularly if medicated (aOR 1.56, 1.23-1.96, and 1.63, 0.94-2.84); birth at <37 weeks was associated with antidepressants, (aOR 1.24, 1.04-1.49]. SGA <3rd centile was associated with antidepressants (aOR 1.43, 1.07-1.90), and SSRIs (aOR 1.46, 1.06-2.00], particularly higher doses [aOR 2.10, 1.32-3.34]. All adverse outcomes were associated with socio-economic status and smoking.
Implications: Exposure to antidepressants or depression increased risks of exclusive formula feeding at 6-8 weeks, and prescription of antidepressants was associated with SGA <3rd centile. Prescription of antidepressants offers a useful marker to target additional support and additional care before and during pregnancy and lactation.