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304970 tn?1331429594

Depression and pregnancy

Just wondering if anyone is taking anything, and if so what? And how soon did you feel better and are there horrible side effects? Any advice/input would be great. Thank you.

23 Responses
Avatar universal
I don't believe you can take anit-depressants during pregnancy. I have a sis-in-law who is bipolar and takes a sleu of medication and she is not allowed to become pregnant. While bipolar is obviously a more severe case than just regular depression I still think any drug you'd take either 1). hasn't been tested on pregnant women or 2). is harmful.

So sorry! Are you doing okay?
Avatar universal
Oh and I want to add that doctors WILL give you a prescrip if you become a harm to yourself or others, obviously. They will always do the least harmful diagnosis.
484470 tn?1226544695
well, what my doc told me is that there is some meds you can take during pregnancy that are thought to be safe.  He prescribed me something that is an allergy med.  I took it for a week and had to stop taking it bc it made me way to tired.  I would sleep all of the time.  I know that one of my friends was prescribed welbutrin (sp?).  I am just trying to coop until i have to baby.  and then try to get back on meds.  You need to try to find something that you really enjoy doing that is a stress reliever for you and try to do it regularly.  and i know that taking walks really helps me.  if i get my self all worked up I will go for a relaxing walk.  good luck.
Avatar universal
I have bipolar 1 disease, and I am not allowed to take any of my anti-depressants at all. I have to be closely monitored by a shrink with weekly visits numerous times and even home visits. Before I had gotten pregnant I was on Cylexa(sp) it helped with my depression and my OCD.

I do plan on going back on my medications after delivery.

If you are feeling depressed or like your going to hurt yourself you need to let your doc know asap. There may be something they can do, maybe not im not to sure. BUT after your baby is born they can offer you a ton of options to help relieve you depression/anxiety.
304970 tn?1331429594
I don't feel like I am going to hurt myself. I don't believe it is THAT severe.. I just feel upset and B I T C H Y all the time.. I wake up anxious and just cannot wait for the day to end so I can go to sleep.. It's like my life is a domino effect right now. I just thought maybe w/ mild meds and possibly seeing a therapist, I could like myself and not feel so depressed and inadequate ALL the time.. I am depressed..

Bi-polar disorder is MUCH more serious and I am lucky I do not suffer with that. My friends wife is bipolar and she is out of work and has been for 2 years she struggles so badly..

I am just sad and feeling like **** all the time..

461781 tn?1285613081
being sad and stressed because of life issues that you are dealing with right now is very different from being clinically depressed.  You may just need someone to talk to and chat and go out and distract yourself, go to a movie, get your hair done, do some prenatal yoga, get busy and you may start to feel better.  move maybe start fresh with your new baby.  You need to do something because your feelings do affect your unborn child and so do prescription medicines so your best bet is to try to find something new and positive to distract yourself and feel better.  And the sooner that you start feeling better or trying to things will start to come around.  Think positive and you will have positive outcomes.
304970 tn?1331429594
Thanks.. A lot of those activities cost $$. And I have a severe shortage in that arena. I have just called a therapist and left a message to see if they take my insurace. I am just depressed about life and agree I need to find other activities, but when you are down, it;s hard to pull yourself out, you know?
Avatar universal
This is a very controversial subject and you will find that the opinions on this will vary widely in the medical profession - this is why there are conflicting answers to your question.  Here is what my OBGYN told me which is consistent with extensive research I did on the subject:

There are several antidepressants that are Class C drugs and these can generally be taken while pregnant if the benefit outweighs the risks.  With Class C drugs the risks to baby are actually very slim HOWEVER  it does depend on when they are taken.  For instance,  Prozac should not be taken in the first trimester (risk of problems elevated at this time, but still low) BUT causes very little problems during the 2nd/3rd trimester.  Zoloft and Lexapro are also good Class C SSRI's for treating depression during pregnancy but Paxil should be avoided at all costs - it is now a Class D drug.

Depending on the drug taken, some doctors will wean you off the antidepressant or decrease dosage in the latter part of the 3rd trimester as a small percentage of babys will experience withdrawal effects (typically pretty mild) during the 1st few days after delivery.  Fussiness and difficulty suckling for a couple of days are the most common withdrawal phenomia "if" they even occur.

Now, when considering taking an AD during pregnancy you need to consider the benefit/risk ratio.  You do not have to be suicidal or considering hurting yourself in order for it to be beneficial for you to take an AD.  If depression/anger/anxiety etc. etc. effects your quality of life and you feel you have trouble coping and/or are just plain miserable and this does not pass w/ time then treatment would likely be appropriate.  If these conditions are left untreated, this can actually cause there own slew of problems with one of the more of the serious issues being the mother going into preterm labor and/or delivery of low birth weight baby's.  Essentially its a catch-22 situation.

If you and your doctor decide its best for you to try medication, it will likely take 4-6 weeks before you see the full benefit.  You "may" feel WORSE than you did before taking the medication during the first week and "may" experience side-effects such as insomina, worsening depression, nausea/the runs/stomach upset, body aches, mania.  Not everyone experience side-effects and they can range from mild to severe.

Something else to consider is whether you are going to breast feed your baby.  Some SSRI's are not metabolized by baby very well so its not a good idea to BF when taking them - others are ok.  Depending on the half life of the drug, it could stay in your system and be expressed in breast milk for quite some time after you stop taking the medication.  Moreover, it is important to ween yourself off an SSRI slowly (usually over a matter of a few weeks)  so you cant just stop it cold-turkey a week before your due date, for instance.

Hopefully this arms you with a little background information but ultimately this is something you need to discuss with your doctor and together you can work out the best solution for you based on  YOUR individual circumstances.
304970 tn?1331429594
Thanks for the info!!

I have just made an appointment with a therapist on Thursday. Maybe just talking to someone will help. I am willing to try. The medication does scare me, but I cannot continue to feel like this... This isn't condusive for me, or my unborn child. I also have an appt. w/ my doctor on the 22nd. I will discuss other options then. I figured I would start w/ therapy..
202436 tn?1326477933
I was on lexapro before becoming pregnant last august.  I immediately stopped taking my meds (on my own).  That pregnancy ended in m/c but 2 months later I became pregnant again. I never resumed my meds becuase I wanted to see if after 2 years i could function well without them.  I did fine until this pregnancy and it's hormonal changes got into full swing and I have been a ragin b**** the last several months.  I'm surprised my husband and kids haven't left me yet.  I've tried to research some of the meds and tho they say they are safe(r) ones there hasn't been enough research to fully tell the damage it may or may not cause.  I have opted to stay off medications until (at the very least) after delivery.  I'm hoping to make it through breastfeeding a few months as well.  I think that being able to talk to someone will be a tremendous help for you.  Right now your hormones are WAY off balance and things always tend to seem worse than they really are.  Do you have a history of depression or other mental health issues?  Does anyone in your family?   If not or if there are only an isolated case or two in you family...most likely what you're feeling is normal pregnancy emotions.  Talk it out with the therapist...see how you feel afterwards.  It's always nice to have an unbiased person listen and help you to see things from different perspectives.  When I moved from mississippi to Georgia I wish I could have packed my therapist and brought her with me...the ones here SUCK.  
304970 tn?1331429594
I do have history of depression, but I do have a history of "bad" luck too.. I have been through a lot of c r a p in my life, and when it seems like there is no end in sight.. I get really depressed and negative.. That is how I am now.. I am hoping just speaking to a therapist helps.. He is an older man so I am hoping he has a lot of experience and a lot of patience..
435139 tn?1255463991
I believe whole heartedly in therapy...I was in a not so good place mentally about 8 years ago (recovering from an abusive relationship and anorexia) and I was given an ultimatum by my boyfriend who is now dh to get help from a therapist or we would break up...I went to therapy...I went once a week for like the first month and then it was like every other week for a couple months and then it was like once a month for awhile and then we decided that I was stable and ready to move on...I had a great therapist and I remember asking her about medication and she said that she didn't believe in medication for people like me who had real issues to deal with because medication would only mask the issues and be like a band aid rather than a real healing which therapy and working through my issues would provide.  Although you have a family history of depression, I think you will benefit greatly from therapy =)  Hang in there!
Avatar universal
Well, the thing you have to remember about antidepressants and pregnancy is that it is usually much healthier for you and your baby to continue your meds. The stress and anxiety that can be caused when taken off medication can be far more harmful to you and your baby than taking medication. That being said, there are some antidepressants that are proven to be harmful for you and your baby. This list changes pretty frequently as more and more research is done, but this info is easy to find online from a credible resource. However, SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) are usually pretty safe. The SSRI to be proven safest so far is Wellbutrin, which is usually more of an anti-anxiety medicatin. It is sometimes prescribed as a weight-loss tool, but this is mostly just a positive side effect. The bottom line is that you need to talk to your doctor and weigh the pros and cons. And if you don't like that doctor's answer, get a second opinion. Remember though, if it is a chemical imbalance, therapy can help, but usually will not solve the problem. And you're not alone! About 20% of all females aged 24-44 suffer from depression (including me)....and most can find effective and safe treatments during pregnancy. Your doctor can work with you to find the medication that works best for you and your baby, if, of course, it's needed.
Best of luck!
435139 tn?1255463991
Not everyone loses weight on wellbutrin...everyone is different, wellbutrin is becoming more know for causing seizures.  I have heard of some people losing weight but I wouldn't call it a positive side effect because that makes it sound enticing!  You might as well add the other side effects such as hair loss, seizures, etc.  My stepfather was on it and he gained weight.  My brother in law was on it and he became ravenous and gained weight as well.  It is a strong medication and both of them are no longer on it due to the side effects.  Like heatley said, if it is a chemical imbalance, medication will help, but there is a reason why there is a book called 'Prozac Nation'...we are a society who believes in quick fixes and instant gratification...To truly find out if you have a chemical imbalance requires psychiatry, bran scans, and blood levels.  However, just my personal opinion, I do not think that this is Laura's case.  I feel that she has been dealt a stressful hand in life and therefore it is causing duress.
304970 tn?1331429594
I was never on an anti-depressant. I had been offered them at different points in my life and never really wanted to take them. I think sweetangel7 is on to something. I think my depression is circumstancial.. Between constant fighting w/ my ex. The placenta previa diagnosis, trying desperately to quit smoking (impossible when you are constantly stressed btw), small town B S, financial concerns, health insurance issues, hating my doctor, and there is more but I will stop there.. I just have moe on my plate than I can handle and I am soo stressed and depressed, I will get advice on meds, but I wanted to try the therapy route first and see if maybe just having a non biased party listen and validate me will help.. May sound stupid but I am a person who needs validation and I havent received any in a very long time..

ANYWAY,,,, I do appreciate all the advice! XO~

I will keep you guys posted..

287246 tn?1318573663
So sorry you are going through all of this.  I feel like I am at my breaking point too right at the moment.

Please let us know how the therapy is going.  I think it will help you so very much!!!
Avatar universal
Laura, do you believe that you're feeling all of this heightened emotion because of pregnancy hormones? Many pregnant women are like crazy mean and get depressed and moody. If this is only since being pregnant, than you could attribute that to the hormones.

But I agree with speaking with the therapist, which you're already doing. They'll be able to give you a ton of insight and help you through this! So sorry you're feeling like crud!
Avatar universal
It's true that the way you're feeling could have a lot to do with pregnancy hormones. And if you haven't been on an antidepressant already (like you said), I would be a little bit more hesitant to start them while you're pregnant. My comments before were pretty much advice if you were on them already. I know this because when I finally get pregnant, it isn't recommended for me to stop taking my medication, just because I know what happens when I do stop taking it. However, the medication that I'm on now (Cipralex) wouldn't be suitable to take when I'm pregnant, so I'd have to switch. The doctor and I weighed all the pros and cons, and even tried weaning me off of them....let me tell you now, that did not go well....lol. And to inflict that on my unborn baby would be far less healthy than to take a low dose of antidepressants every day.
But JoyRenee and the other ladies are most definitely all right. Pregancy hormones can change your moods and even your outlook on life. You probably just need someone to talk to about it all. And some relaxation too! Like a nice bubble bath with same candles and some soothing music. Just take an hour a day to do something for you, and you alone. Give yourself a manicure or a pedicure, take a nice walk, or rent a movie that you've been wanting to see. The best way to get rid of temporary depression is to do something relaxing, and to do something that you love. That, and having someone to talk to about it, as well.
Anyway, best of luck with you and your pregnancy....you're taking all the right steps to make yourself feel better!
304970 tn?1331429594
I appreciate the advice. Thanks so much!

I will keep you posted on therapy and hopefully it will be beneficial for me and help get me out of this funk..   XO

304970 tn?1331429594
Just thought I would post an update even though there isn't much to say. I went to the therapist tonight .. He was very nice. Basically it was a "spill" session for me, and he just said that with all the stress in my life, it's no shock that I find myself seeking therapy and that he would like to see me again next week. That he wanted to "digest" all this information and start next week and he would try and figure out what he can do to help..

My baby's Father is still not speaking to me. Last time we spoke he called me a f***ing c***.. I know, gross but true. I said things I didn't mean as well out of anger. I have tried to call him and or text him everyday since and he won't return any calls or texts so that's a stresser too.. I am hoping in time he realizes what an arse he is being and decides to step up. In the meantime I am trying to get some help for myself to get me in a better mindset.. That's all for now. Thanks again for the advice ladies!~

435139 tn?1255463991
Glad to hear things went well!  
419964 tn?1333305506

i can relate to you in soo many ways :) ive been through some **** in my life time and now im a negitve person mean rude at times i can be nice lol but anyways thearapy should be a good thing for you. and the thing with your ex i would write him a letter saying all the things you want to say to him about everything get your feelings out and either send it to him or drop it off. either way i think it will help you and the ex understsnd things alot better :) plz do give it a try im sure it will help alot or you can just write the letter for your self ") either way good luck :)
287246 tn?1318573663
I'm glad you went to therapy and I'm glad it helped some.  Sometimes it does help just to talk to someone......someone that is totally neutral but yet someone that will kind of be on your side too.  I know for me, sometimes things are just so hard because it feels like the whole world is against me if that makes any sense; or at least all of the people that matter to me.  I am married yet still feel very alone a lot of the time.  So, having someone with you doesn't always mean that you aren't alone.

Anyway, I really feel for you and hope that therapy helps you.  Please keep us updated on how the therapy goes.

Oh, and I agree w/ msgorgeous......Letters are very theraputic.  Like she said, you can send it or not.  It will feel better to get those things off your chest.  Letters are also a good way to say what you want to say without getting interupted and ending up in a fight.  I have done that with my husband several times.  I have written letters when it is a very touchy subject for both of us that would just end up in a fight if I just brought it up.  This way I can be careful about the way I word things and I have the backspace button that you don't have on your mouth.  LOL  I'd give it a try.......
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