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BACKGROUND: Psychiatric disorders and use of selective antidepressants during pregnancy can have negative effects on mother and infant postpartum. This study aimed to provide evidence-based recommendations on observation of antidepressant-exposed mother-infant dyads. METHODS: In this observational study, mother-infant dyads were observed for possible consequences of either the maternal psychiatric disorder or fetal exposure to selective antidepressants during pregnancy. These possible complications can lead to medical interventions, including 1. adjustment of antidepressants 2. admission to the psychiatric department 3. additional investigations due to indistinctness about the origin of neonatal symptoms 4. treatment of poor neonatal adaptation and 5. consultation of an external organization for additional care. The type, number and time to medical interventions were analyzed. RESULTS: In 61% of the 324 included mother-infant dyads one or more intrventions were performed. Adjustment of antidepressants and treatment of poor neonatal adaptation were most prevalent. In 75% of dyads the final intervention was performed within 48 h. CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence and type of medical interventions requires professional observation of all mother-infant dyads exposed to selective antidepressants. In the absence of specialized home care, hospital admission is indicated whereby an observational period of 48 h seems sufficient for most dyads.
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