Taking Antidepressants while Pregnant - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-07-2014, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Taking Antidepressants while Pregnant

Hi, I've been browsing the postpartum depression board and feel I have many of the symptoms others discuss...except I'm entering my second trimester. I've battled depression for years in the past and now feel (finally) ready to admit that this is not a battle I can win w/out help. I know friends who stopped taking medication while they were pregnant, and I may hold on until after, but being pregnant is raising a host of issues I am having trouble dealing with, not to mention insomnia (I'm writing this at 4:00 AM.). I'm going to start seeking a new therapist tomorrow but definitely want to go back on medication. I'm concerned about breastfeeding, all of it. Has anyone else had experience with this? Thank you.
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#2 of 12 Old 07-07-2014, 06:47 AM
 
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My mental health challenge is anxiety. & unfortunately there is not a safe anti anxiety med to take during pg (or I've been told). I would definitely talk to your OB/ midwife about meds & would look into a CB therapist since you are feeling so bad & since depression rarely improves once baby is here. Hugs mama!
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#3 of 12 Old 07-07-2014, 06:59 AM
 
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I saw this in new posts and want to suggest seeing a counselor but holding off on medication until after the baby is born. My cousin was prescribed anti-depressants by a doctor who said they were safe and her baby came out needing a feeding tube for four years. IIt's my understanding that medications aren't studied on pregnant women for ethical reasons so safe is really just the opinion of the doctor not something that has statistical relevance in this case.
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#4 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 11:46 AM
 
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My sister was on some type of medication for depression when she was pregnant. When she wasn't taking it, she didn't trust herself, so I can't blame her for taking it. However, my nephew had a lot of problems when he was born. He was in the hospital for a few weeks and most of it she couldn't even hold him. His breathing was constantly really rapid for a long time and the only reason they could decide was because of the medication. He's doing a lot better now, but it was very stressful and sad. Try the therapist and ask for help for ways to deal with the depression and anxiety. I often struggle with insomnia because my brain won't shut up. They always say not to watch TV, but I usually watch the same movie every night while laying in bed and it helps me go to sleep. It distracts me enough to not think so much, but I've seen it so many times it's not entertaining me too much either.
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#5 of 12 Old 07-08-2014, 03:51 PM
 
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I'm sorry you feel bad. I have been depressed a couple of times when not pg, but not bad enough to need medicine, just therapy. But this time and the last time I was pg, I was/am depressed. I never feel quite like myself and withdraw socially, plus I usually have some self-evaluative life crisis ("I've irreparably screwed up my life," etc.) I can usually fall asleep but wake up often. Anyway, despite having been depressed both pg and not pg, my depression did lift after birth. I think my brain just really doesn't like pregnancy hormones.

There are a lot of articles about it if you google prenatal or antenatal depression. I have no information on the safety of various drugs, though the articles I read did seem to say they were generally safe. Obviously people here have had different experiences, so it is worth investigating and deciding what you can live with.

Good luck.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
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#6 of 12 Old 07-09-2014, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just to update—I'm trying out a few new therapists this week and already feel better knowing I'm doing something about the depression. It's amazing what a difference it makes just to take those initial steps to find help. I should also leave room for the possibility that I may not need antidepressants (and will not be taking them while I'm pregnant, since I'm still functional and relatively emotionally balanced). I just want to feel happy and excited about having a baby rather than anxious and fearful for her future...but that is a journey that requires a lot of hard work and pharmaceuticals are only part of it. I'm motivated by wanting to be the best mother I can be, and by being open with myself about my issues I think I stand a better shot of doing so. That last sentence is inspired by wanting to do the opposite of what my parents do, which is to be very secretive and repressed about their mental health problems—especially my dad. That said, I have terrific parents, but they are of a generation that believes you can and should just "snap out of it," and now I know better.
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#7 of 12 Old 07-09-2014, 06:29 AM
 
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It sounds like you have a great plan in place. I also wanted to mention that there are alternatives to anti-depressants for moderate depression. Exercise, for example, actually outperforms anti-depressants much of the time and it's super important during pregnancy. Light therapy and fish oil supplements have also been shown to have a significant impact on mood. Perhaps working with your new therapist on some healthy habits like exercise will help you feel more optimistic. And if after birth you find you need more help, I know quite a few people who have been on anti-depressants while nursing. If you need the help, take it. Postpartum depression is nothing to mess around with. But since you said you're doing ok for right now, I would suggest talking with your therapist about these other options to see if something helps you feel a little more excited about the coming baby.

I struggled with depression in my first trimester with my daughter and it was really lonely. I didn't understand why I couldn't get excited about something we had planned and tried for. It lifted in the second tri, but that first tri was a scary time. Good luck.
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Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Currently due 12/13/2014 with a rainbow.
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#8 of 12 Old 07-09-2014, 08:34 AM
 
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I think you have a great plan too! Best wishes mama!
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#9 of 12 Old 09-07-2014, 03:28 PM
 
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I want to share my experience with you. My first baby I was already taking anti-anxiety medication and went of it immediately for fear of what it would do to the baby. That was not a good move on my part because the pregnancy wasn't planned and I was going threw alot of stress during the pregnancy with the father of the child that it affected my anxiety and depression and I am sure my daughter in the womb at the time. I cried all the time and was a mess! Once she was born I went back on it, but only after not being able to breast feed. My second child was also not planned but I was already on medication and because of my previous experience going off the medication I decided to see if I could stay on it. I talked to my doctor about it and she said because I was on such a low dose that it wouldn't be bad although the baby may go through some withdrawl once the baby was born. I am not sure if it was the cause of her being a very fussy baby but she cried all the time and had troubles sleeping, she was never happy! I ended up having postpardum depression after she was born and had to increase my dosage. If it is safe for the baby than I think the mother needs to do what is also best for her. It is hard being pregnant and can really take a toll on the mother emotionally. I wish you the best in whatever you decide.
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#10 of 12 Old 09-08-2014, 10:54 AM
 
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I know this is an old thread, but I just wanted to give you some anecdotal support for meds. I've been taking a low dose of Celexa for years, for depression & anxiety. I continued taking it throughout my first pregnancy with my son, and while nursing him (he just turned two and still loves to nurse), and am now pregnant with our second child. My son is beautiful, healthy and happy, and I have stayed balanced and able to care for him (and myself). I wasn't excited about staying on meds while pregnant & nursing, but in the end the non-meds options just weren't cutting it, and it was more important to us for me to be a healthy, functioning mom. It was the right choice for us; it's not for everyone.

mom to Atticus, born 08/27/12, and baby #2 due 05/07/15.
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#11 of 12 Old 09-08-2014, 09:49 PM
 
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I went back & forth on this the entire first half of my pregnancy & we just decided a week ago that staying on its a better choice FOR ME than going off.

I just went on Lexapro a year ago soon after our 1st son turned 3. My docs both feel that I have a history of very mild depression that pregnancy made worse, turned into PPD & continued on into major depression. I also have anxiety & OCD. All of which was manageable pre pregnancy. My depression was not the non functioning, can't get out of bed, crying type, so it was easy to brush off. Until it wasn't :-P I don't like meds & put it off as long as possible but now I have a 4 year old & I am not a good mother without them.

That said, I only take the full dose on weekends when I am with him 24/7. During the week (i work full time) I take half dose & my husband does his best to help me cope. We also plan to taper off & quit a couple weeks before the due date & go back on right after delivery.

It's a very individual choice & it's not as cut & dried as "quit the meds". There are negative consequences to that as well & I recommend anyone faced with this decision to research the studies that have been done so far.

I'm glad you are able to manage without meds & wish you the best.

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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#12 of 12 Old Today, 07:41 AM
 
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A study in Australia, said that prenatal women took 100 mg of EPA and 800 mg of DHA until birth would have a less postpartum depression rate of 9.67% than the group who intake placebo about 11%.
Hope this information can help you some, and to pick up the best prenatal fish oil, you may refer to here:
http://www.thebestprenatalvitamins.c...for-pregnancy/
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