Newborns Exposed to Psychiatric Drugs During Pregnancy Far More Likely to Require Immediate Medical Care

Forty percent of newborns exposed to psychiatric drugs in utero required immediate medical care after birth, compared to less than 3% of unexposed newborns.


Newborns exposed to psychiatric drugs during pregnancy have a significantly higher risk of experiencing premature birth, respiratory distress, circulatory problems, and more, according to a recent study. The study found that 40% of newborns who were exposed to psychiatric drugs in the womb needed immediate medical attention after birth, while less than 3% of unexposed newborns required similar care.

The harms included respiratory distress, circulatory distress, hypothermia, feeding problems, and lower Apgar scores, as well as preterm birth. Preterm birth was more than three times as likely in the mothers who took psychiatric drugs.

“The increasingly frequent maternal drug treatment of depression and anxiety disorders in pregnancy results in an increasing number of neonates requiring special neonatal therapy,” the researchers write.

The research was led by Sabrina Nicole Wecker and Ann Sophie Dammert at the Division of Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive Care Medicine at München Klinik Harlaching, Munich, Germany. It was published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine.

This study adds to a large body of research on the impact of psychiatric drugs in pregnancy. In particular, studies have found antidepressant use in pregnancy linked to poor outcomes for babies, including neonatal withdrawal syndrome.

Another recent study found that antiseizure/antiepileptic drugs—commonly prescribed for bipolar disorder—are linked to a large increased risk of autism, ADHD, and intellectual disability.

The current study included all newborns born at the level-III unit at the München Klinik Harlaching, Germany, between January 2018 and December 2021, whose mothers had a psychiatric diagnosis (n=69). All 69 were taking psychiatric drugs. The control group consisted of 138 randomly selected newborns from the same dates whose mothers did not have a psychiatric diagnosis and who were not on psychiatric drugs.

In total, 62.32% of the newborns exposed to the drugs had medical symptoms after birth, with 40.58% requiring immediate medical care. For newborns not exposed to the drugs, 16.67% showed symptoms, and only 2.9% required medical care. Almost all newborns who required medical care after exposure to psychiatric drugs showed symptoms within 24 hours of birth.

Of those newborns who required medical therapy, 65% had to be separated from their mothers and admitted to a neonatal ward.

Newborns exposed to psychiatric drugs were also far more likely to experience multiple symptoms (33.33% versus 5.07%).

Because prematurely born infants are more likely to have these problems than non-premature infants, the researchers also analyzed their data taking this into account. It did not change their outcomes.

The study included four types of drug exposures during pregnancy: antidepressants (n=39), antipsychotics (n=5), antiepileptic drugs (n=15), and multiple medications (n=10). The majority of mothers were taking antidepressants, with the two most common being citalopram (Celexa) or sertraline (Zoloft).

The researchers compared these groups to determine if any of them caused worse issues (or if any did not cause these issues). However, they found similar symptoms and a similar need for immediate medical care no matter what type of drug the mother took during pregnancy.

The researchers write that previous studies have found that exposure to multiple medications increases the risk of adverse outcomes, but the current study didn’t find this to be true. However, they note that only 10 newborns were exposed to polypharmacy in this study, so they may not have had the statistical power to find an effect.

This particular study was also not able to account for potential confounding factors, such as the impact of the maternal psychiatric diagnosis (confounding by indication). However, previous studies that accounted for this factor have still found the drugs to be responsible, even going so far as to find untreated depression having a beneficial effect in some areas.

Ultimately, despite the massive increase in newborn health problems after exposure to psychiatric drugs, the researchers in the current study don’t suggest anything either way about the wisdom of psychiatric drug use during pregnancy. Instead, they simply recommend that doctors monitor newborns after birth.

They write, “We recommend continuous postnatal monitoring using pulse oximetry for 24 h and control of vital signs every 3 h. If symptoms occur, monitoring is continued until finally symptom-free for 24 h. In asymptomatic neonates, monitoring can be terminated after 24 h.”



Wecker, S. N., Dammert, A. S., Scholz, C., Krüger, M., Hauer, J., & Brickmann, C. (2024). Neonatal therapy after maternal central neurotropic drug exposure—A retrospective cohort study. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 37(1), 2356038. DOI: 10.1080/14767058.2024.2356038 (Link)



  1. “Ultimately, despite the massive increase in newborn health problems after exposure to psychiatric drugs, the researchers in the current study don’t suggest anything either way about the wisdom of psychiatric drug use during pregnancy. Instead, they simply recommend that doctors monitor newborns after birth.”

    That strikes me as highly unwise on the part of the … likely greed only inspired, Pharmakia funded, “researchers.” It strikes me that our society should, instead, stop psych drugging all children, especially the females younger than, or of, child bearing age – our society used to have the wisdom to NOT psych drug our children.

    Sadly, since the primary actual societal function of the scientific fraud based “mental health” industries has been … and still is … profiteering off of covering up child abuse and rape for the men, and satanists, of our society.

    And even a pediatrician of my former religion shook in her seat, when it was truthfully mentioned to her that the psych drugs can actually create the symptoms of the psych “disorders.”

    That pediatrician told me she couldn’t stop psych drugging the children … “because it’s too profitable.” I should have mentioned, “For the love of money is the root of all evil ….” But I didn’t want to get into a fight within a church, that literally confessed they were “partnered” with the systemic child abuse covering up, greed only inspired, doctors and “mental health professionals.”

    Thank you, Peter, for your honest reporting.

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  2. Let’s look at the known facts about psychiatric medicines. They produce abnormal brain structure and function including neurotransmitter downregulation, changes to the morphology of the synapsis, distortions to the size of the various regions in the brain like the amygdala and grey matter, and worse long-term outcomes compared to those who didn’t continue to take the drugs including those in developing countries that can’t generally afford to keep on taking them. And they also pollute rivers and waterways to an extent that is thought to cause harm. And now we see they pollute the rivers and waterways of our body because they damage the development of the feotus.

    Now this article has no relevance to the problem, because the problem is that despite all these known facts listed above WE ARE NOT EXPLODING WITH FIRE AND RAGE LIKE WE WOULD IF THEY TRIED TO PUT GAS PUMP TAXES UP BY 10%. It’s OK to destroy the brains of our children and vulnerable adults, and pollute the waterways and poison our unborn babies, but put 10% on Gas and there will be civil war. And anyone working in the mental health profession: let me ask you, why are you so irredemably sycophantic, critical or otherwise? This is the worst outrage imaginable: not only our own children and adults but those around the whole world, and poor countries where people actually go die due to malnutrition or hunger feel the constant pressure to provide these destructive drugs that make long term outcomes worse. AND PROBABLY MILLIONS OF MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS KNOW ALL THIS, INCLUDING YOU. So let me ask you: what is wrong with you that you don’t explode with fury and rage and therefore do something about it? Is it because it’s merely intellectual for you, too abstract, or is there a defence mechanism preventing you from seeing this enormous tragedy clearly?

    Because believe it or not, there are even more enormous tragedies in this world, and they are all related. Why not understand and confess this one fully to yourself, let it transform you, give you more energy, passion and clarity, and with that clarity hopefully you’ll see the much vaster tragedy this psychiatric tragedy is a part of. Because only when you start seeing it all can there even be the faintest slither of the possibility of hope. Right now we’re in entering into a total eclipse. 12/12/12. Zero>No-one. (End of the world:

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  3. If your future generations, had 40% and then anther 40% estimated detriment to health, with what outlook can you accept parenthood- I.e. that you are not out to damage your own future generations by being forced or voluntarily taking psych drugs? Now there is a percentage as well as knowledge of damage- what belongs next in any society claiming decency ?
    But the law has even less of a % chance of having a decent effect. The Bible verse about hypocrites and their being whitewashed tombs comes into mind. Matthew 23 : 27-28.

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