One of the potential Zoloft birth defects is omphalocele, a disorder in which babies are born with organs outside of their bodies.
An omphalocele is a form of hernia, sometimes referred to as an umbilical hernia. Babies with omphalocele are born with intestines or other abdominal organs, including in some severe cases the liver, protruding from the naval. The intestines and other organs are contained in a bubble-like, transparent layer of tissue and are easily visible to the naked eye.
Zoloft birth defects including Omphalocele more likely in mothers who used Zoloft during pregnancy
A 2007 study of Zoloft birth defects organized partly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that mothers who used SSRI anti-depressants, including Zoloft, during pregnancy were 2.8 times as likely as mothers in the control group to give birth to a baby with omphalocele.
An omphalocele is one of the congenital Zoloft birth defects, which means that it develops while the fetus is still in the mother’s womb. Omphalocele is the result of abdominal muscles failing to close properly in the womb.
It is estimated that anywhere from 25% to 40% of babies suffering from Zoloft-induced omphalocele may also be born with additional Zoloft birth defects, including heart deformities such as an atrial septal defect, which is a hole in the wall of the upper chambers of the heart.
Other birth defects sometimes linked to omphalocele include genetic abnormalities and a life-threatening condition called congenital diaphragmatic hernia, in which abdominal organs push into the chest cavity and impede lung growth.
Zoloft Omphalocele severity varies
Omphalocele can develop in many different sizes and severities. In some cases, only a small segment of the small intestine protrudes from the belly button, whereas in the more uncommon, extreme scenarios, even the liver and spleen may protrude.
Omphalocele is one of the known Zoloft birth defects that can usually be identified in an ultrasound before birth. Treatment involves surgery to return the organs inside the abdominal cavity, and then to seal the herniation. In extreme cases, surgery may be delayed for several months to allow the baby’s abdominal cavity to grow large enough to accommodate the intestines.
The post-surgery prognosis for omphalocele is complete recovery. However, complications to the child’s health may arise as a result of other Zoloft birth defects that are associated with omphalocele.