If you're an expecting mother who's looking to treat her depression or pregnancy blues, you might want to reconsider a few things before you speak to your doctor. That’s because there’s a new study that suggests antidepressants are linked to an increased risk of gestational diabetes. In other words, you might be solving one problem, but creating a whole new one for you elsewhere.
According to Medical Express, taking antidepressants while pregnant may put you in a better mood (depending on your symptoms), but it may also create another health-related problem for you. Researchers have found that moms-to-be who took antidepressants were more likely to develop gestational diabetes. Such a diagnosis could lead to a number of different complications during pregnancy.
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Gestational diabetes usually occurs when a pregnant woman’s blood sugar levels are too high. Coincidentally, that also makes the unborn baby's blood sugar levels too high. Most pregnant women have a glucose screening for gestational diabetes during the second trimester and no later than the third trimester. In most cases there are no symptoms; however, many women do find themselves dealing with excessive hunger, excessive thirst, fatigue, frequent urination or a yeast infection.
The online journal BMJ Open took information from the Quebec Pregnancy Cohort, which incorporates three Canadian databases. Their results found that children born to mothers with gestational diabetes were more vulnerable to obesity and diabetes later on in life. What’s more, these same mothers were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The study’s researchers said, "The treatment of depression is a major concern and is challenging because depression is prevalent before and during pregnancy, and untreated depression can lead to relapse during pregnancy and in the [period immediately after birth]."
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Researchers noted that the risk was greatest among mothers who were taking venlafaxine, a type of drug known as a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI); and amitriptyline, which belongs to an older class of antidepressant known as tricyclics.
With that said, mothers are advised to speak to their doctors or a trusted health professional about antidepressants- especially before they plan on getting pregnant. They should also look over the pros and cons of taking antidepressants, especially if their depression is severe. That way, both you and your unborn baby can be as healthy as possible.