A concerned mom shared her story of antidepressants and pregnancy, and she concludes that it’s riskier to go off your medication while you’re carrying a child. Elizabeth Michaelson Monaghan wrote a piece on Romper detailing her experience juggling dealing with her depression and caring for her unborn baby. She was always worrying about the effects of the drug on her child, but she didn’t know it was worse to be depressed during pregnancy.
The side effects of any medication can be scary, especially ones for concerning your mental health. The added factor of being pregnant is sure to be anxiety-inducing for any mother who wants only the best for both her and her future child. She is already so concerned with her diet, environment, and activity levels, so the extra thought of the side effects of her antidepressants on her child is sure to add more stress. What doctors recommend, however, is to continue taking them despite fears of side-effects.
Monaghan shared her experience dealing with depression and pregnancy. At first, she thought it would be best to go off of her antidepressants completely because she was concerned about the effects it could have on her child. She was unsure of doing so, as she learned that children who have mothers with unregulated depression were at higher risk of developing conditions such as irregular heartbeat. After reading a paper that argued antidepressants can affect a child’s cognitive development, she went off her meds.
Her mood began to plummet shortly after that decision. Pregnancy started to make her more anxious, and her mood wasn’t improving enough to convince herself to take care of her health. With her doctor’s recommendation, she began to take her antidepressants again. She was happier, and this meant she could take better care of both herself and her baby.
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“Our data suggest that antidepressants may reduce the probability of a woman with a history of depression to conceive naturally.” ... ... I posted about this topic in my preconception Facebook group last week because I think this is a really important discussion. 16.5% of women take an antidepressant medication (Compared to 9% of men). I wonder how many of these women are actively trying to conceive? I also wonder if they are aware of this data? ... ... I am all for utilizing medication when it’s needed but I have seen time and time again how correcting underlying nutrient deficiencies, balancing hormones, and implementing stress management techniques can make such a difference in one’s mental health. Having dealt with depression and anxiety personally, I’m so grateful to have found what works for me! ... ... We deserve to have full informed consent before being prescribed a medication, which means we should understand all potential side effects as well as benefits; whether it’s a birth control pill, statin drug, or antidepressant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #womenshealth#functionalmedicine#ttc#fertility#infertility#motherhoodtransition#preconception#beforethebump#preconceptioncoach#antidepressants#mentalhealth
While psychotherapy is highly recommended for expecting moms with mild to moderate mood and anxiety disorders, those who need to take a daily or frequent antidepressants shouldn’t be afraid of doing so. There are still some risks that could be associated with treatments, but medical professionals argue that unregulated moods are riskier than the medication. A happy mom is a healthy mom, so her kid will be the same.