Last updated on 29th October 2017
Teratology is the study of the effects that drugs, medications, chemicals and other exposures may have on the unborn child during pregnancy. Particulary when a mother is taking a medication that is helping her stay well, it can be a difficult decision whether or not to stop taking the medication because of a possible risk to the fetus ... or because of a possible risk that could be transmitted through breastfeeding. This decision is made harder because we know that if a pregnant woman becomes unwell, for example with depression, this too risks damaging the fetus, so it's not necessarily the case that stopping medication is going to be in the unborn baby's best interest.
In this situation, having access to up to date, expert information can be crucially important. I came across a helpful website today - OTIS (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) - that provides exactly this. Although the organization is based in the US and Canada, there is much that is useful on the website.
OTIS (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) Accessed on 29 October, 2017.