Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Dr. M. Karen Campbell


Review of the current literature reveals inconsistent findings on potential associations between antidepressant use during pregnancy and adverse fetal and child health and development. This study aims to examine the effect of antenatal SSRI exposure on several neonatal (preterm birth, small- and large-for-gestational age, Apgar score, and neonatal intensive care unit admission) and child developmental outcomes (measured by Ages and Stages Questionnaire) while controlling for confounding by indication. Data were obtained from the Prenatal Health Project, a longitudinal cohort study of 2,357 women in London, Ontario. Results from univariable analysis discovered that infants exposed to in utero SSRIs were more likely to be large-for-gestational age compared to infants of women exposed to antenatal depressive symptoms but not SSRIs and to infants of women unexposed to either antenatal depression or SSRIs. The small sample size of the antidepressant-exposed population limited our study and further research is warranted to verify the significance of our findings.