The Course of ADHD during Pregnancy

The Course of ADHD during Pregnancy

Baker AS, Wales R, Noe O, Gaccione P, Freeman MP, Cohen LS.


J Atten Disord. 2020 Dec 11:1087054720975864.

doi: 10.1177/1087054720975864.


Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: It is helpful to be able to provide mothers looking at whether to maintain stimulants during pregnancy with actual data on how this could potentially impact their ability to function


Objective: The aim of this study was to characterize the course of ADHD during pregnancy.


Method: Women ages 18 to 45 were followed prospectively at <20 weeks, 24 weeks, and 36 weeks pregnant. Three groups emerged: women who discontinued, maintained, or adjusted their ADHD medications. ADHD symptoms were recorded using the AISRS. Anxiety, depression, stress, and functional impairment were monitored.


Results: A total of 25 women with ADHD were eligible for analysis. No significant difference observed between three groups in AISRS scores. Significant differences found between medication discontinuers vs adjusters for both mood and family functioning (EPDS, 5.3, p < .0001; WFIRS, 3.3, p = .0309). Significant differences also found between discontinuers vs maintainers for mood and family functioning (EPDS, 4.98, p = .0009; WFIRS, 3.09, p = .0197).


Conclusion: This preliminary study provides novel insight into the course of ADHD during pregnancy, underscoring mood and family functioning as critical domains that may contribute to growing use of psychostimulants during pregnancy.


* Abstracts are selected for their clinical relevance by Dr. Margaret Weiss, Director of Clinical Research, Child Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard University. Her commentary reflects her own opinion.  It is not approved or necessarily representative of the CADDRA board.


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