Antidepressants and Pregnancy

If you are currently on antidepressants to treat depression, make sure to inform your doctor. Your doctor will be able to determine what drug will be the safest for you and your baby. Unfortunately, some antidepressants have been known to negatively affect the unborn baby.   Your health and safety is also of the upmost importance, so you do not want to go without medication that is helping your condition.

However, if you are feeling symptoms of depression for the first time due, you should first seek other options such as psychotherapy, support groups, nutritionists, and prenatal exercise such as yoga. About 10% of pregnant mothers experience symptoms of depression.

Antidepressants and Pregnancy

  • To treat depression during pregnancy, one may take medications such as antidepressants and some supportive measures such as psychotherapy.
  • Your doctor does need to be made aware of your pregnancy if you are currently taking medication for depression. The side effects of some medications may be harmful for the growing fetus. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the safest dose and variety of antidepressant medication.
  • Experiencing depression during pregnancy is a sensitive situation and any medication prescribed should be done so after considering all possible risks.
  • Taking some antidepressants during pregnancy may lead to congenital malformation in the baby. Recent studies have indicated that a baby whose mother is taking antidepressants is also at risk to develop autism.
  • After birth, babies can produce experience withdrawal symptoms from certain medications. Withdrawal symptoms can be tremors, gastrointestinal problems, instant crying and disturbed sleep.
  • You may also avoid taking antidepressants and opt for other supportive measures such as psychotherapy.

If you currently take antidepressant medication, also discuss with your obstetrician how you will choose to feed your baby. Antidepressants are not safe to take while nursing. You may opt to bottle feed, or minimize your intake when the baby is born. See what your options are.

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