Using Antidepressants While Pregnant

Using Antidepressants While Pregnant

Using Antidepressants While Pregnant


Using Antidepressants While Pregnant

It can be difficult to decide whether to begin or continue taking an antidepressant if you become pregnant. Allowing depression to go untreated can have a negative impact on fetal development as well as your mental health. Using Antidepressants While Pregnant.

With the facts about each type of antidepressant in hand, you can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of your choice with your doctor and mental healthcare provider.

Depression During Pregnancy

Due to shifting hormones, pregnancy was once thought to provide some protection against depression, but research has not supported this theory. In fact, the opposite may be true: women who have a history of anxiety or depression may be more vulnerable to depression during pregnancy.

Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect the chemicals in your brain, some of which are directly related to depression.

Depression during pregnancy (also known as antepartum or prenatal depression) is one of the most common pregnancy complications. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 14% to 23% of pregnant women experience depression.

Pregnancy and Antidepressants

During pregnancy, blood volume nearly doubles, which affects the efficacy of some medications. Some women’s metabolisms also change, which can affect how your body absorbs, distributes, breaks down, and eliminates antidepressant medications if you choose to take them.

Antidepressants are prescribed or used by up to 8% of pregnant women in the United States.  If you want to keep taking your antidepressant while pregnant, talk to your doctor about how you can minimize any risks. They may be able to change your medication or start you on a different antidepressant.


Antidepressant Use While Breastfeeding

Antidepressants can be passed to your baby through your breast milk. However, the amount that is secreted into breast milk is less than that which crosses the placenta.

The following selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are some of the best-studied medications for use during breastfeeding:

  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)

According to multiple studies, the serum antidepressant levels in nursing infants are either low or undetectable, and there have been no reports of short-term adverse effects. For these reasons, we consider them relatively safe for use during breastfeeding.6

It is important that women remain on whichever SSRI is working during pregnancy postpartum while nursing. There is no indication for changing from one antidepressant to another in order to breastfeed safely.


A Word From DBlend Store

Each antidepressant medication class carries its own set of risks. Consult your doctor if you are unsure whether to discontinue your antidepressant during pregnancy. They can assist you in weighing the benefits of taking antidepressants during pregnancy against the risks of leaving your depression untreated.

Being on an antidepressant should not keep you from having a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor can help you find a medication that can treat your depressive symptoms and is safe for you and your baby. If you decide to stop taking your antidepressant medication while you are pregnant, you should have a solid support system in place and strategies to help you cope with depression symptoms.

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