Maternal / Newborn Question #2


A nurse is caring for a female client who is asking about family planning while on anti-anxiety and antidepressant therapy. The nurse expects the physician to discuss which factors when considering pregnancy and use of antidepressants and anxiolytics? Select all that apply.


  1. Planning a family with depression or anxiety would be detrimental to the child.
    • Rationale:
  2. Risk/benefit assessment must be considered.
    • Rationale:
  3. Exposure to any type of benzodiazepine should be avoided, especially during first 3 months of pregnancy.
    • Rationale:
  4. Exposure to any type of MAOI should be avoided at any time during pregnancy.
    • Rationale:



Individual risk/benefits would be considered. Benzodiazepines will cross the placenta to the fetus and may cause sedation, dependence, and withdrawal signs. “Floppy infant syndrome” may also occur. Exposure to MAOIs must be avoided since studies have shown malformations; however, they are not recommended as well in women because of risk of hypertensive crisis (which is an adverse reaction to the drug.) Family planning is possible while on antidepressant or anxiolytic; therefore, Option A is also incorrect.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale