Antidepressant Use & Pregnancy??

Updated on February 23, 2010
J.F. asks from Oregon, OH
38 answers

Hello Moms,
I am looking for anyone with experience with depression and pregnancy. I have had diagnosed depression for 10 years now, and have taken several medications before finding one that actually works for me. I am 25 weeks pregnant with my third child and feel that I seriously need to get back on SOME type of antidepressant, as at this point I feel like anything is better than nothing. I have taken Zoloft with little results whatsoever. I then took Wellbutrin SR for about 7 years until switching to Lexapro shortly before I became pregnant this time. The Lexapro seemed to be the best treatment ever for me, and it was such a relief to finally feel "normal." Fast forward to today...I have been off of the Lexapro since I found out I was pregnant. My OB/GYN is pretty much bucking me in every way on this issue. She doesn't think it is necessary, because "I don't seem to be doing too bad." I, on the other hand, would like to have some relief before I get to the point of no return. I guess my question would be has anyone else had this issue? If so what steps did you take to get through it?

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K.G.

answers from Kokomo on

Let me know what kind of responses that you get on this. I'm on Zoloft for anxiety/depression and I'd like to have another child but am wondering if I could manage without it after the birth. I had fairly bad PPD after my first daughter was born and I'm terrified of going through that again without meds.

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K.L.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi, I am also 27 years old and I'm not pregnant but I have been battling with depression ever since I had my daughter 10 months ago. My mother works at a chiropractors office where they sell natural products since I didn't want the other prescribed medicine because I didn't want any side effects. This medicine is called Symplex-F it helps with lactation and the uterine lining. It is good for women who are breastfeeding battling with post baby depression. I am not breastfeeding nor had post baby depression, mine was with moving away from family and not having any friends here. But I have used it a few months and I swear by it. You take it 3 times a day and it doesn't mess with your hormones or make you tired or anything. I love it and I would ask your OB about it and give it a try. I hope everything works out and I hope that I can help.

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T.L.

answers from Toledo on

I have not heard anything bad about Lexapro, but whatever you do, do not take Paxil while pregnant. I took that while pregnant and now I find out that taking Paxil while pregnant could cause heart deffects on the child. Thankfully my child is ok, but now that I know about that, I will be sure to not take it if I ever get pregnant again. Talk to you doctor about what is best for a woman to take while pregnant.

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J.G.

answers from Cincinnati on

J. --
although i don't have personal experience with this issue, i work in the mental health field & know other moms that have experience with this. i would highly reccommend consulting with a psychiatrist in addition to your OB/GYN if you haven't already. it makes good sense to think about prevention rather than letting yourself get to "the point of no return" as you put it... there should be multiple options regarding choice of medication as well as dosage to get you through until you can return to the med regimen that was previously working for you. good luck...

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M.R.

answers from Columbus on

Look, if you OB is not helping you on this very serious matter, you need to think hard about finding another OB. I know that you can take antidepressants while pregnant, I have many friends who did, although I'm not sure what they are taking. You would be able to ask an OB, maybe yours won't help but others will. Good luck, and please take care of yourself

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K.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

J.,
You would be ok to start taking your Lexapro again. It is supposed to be safe during pregnancy. However, I was also nervous about that and stopped taking in the beginning of my last pregnancy. I was very concerned about post-partum and once I was far enough along my OB told me to start taking the Lexapro again....bc like you said you dont want to wait until you are at a really bad place.

Good luck!
K.

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J.N.

answers from Dayton on

Have you been going to therapy, you should also being going to therapy and not just be using anti drep. I trouble with panic attacks during one of my pregnancy and was able to hold off the use of a good therapist. Also exercise also helps alot because it increase your endorphines, endorphines make you happy. If you really need you should take some but, you really do not know the long term effects of meds on newborns. You always go for a second opinion too.

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S.G.

answers from Cincinnati on

I, too, got off the antidepressant medication that I was on when I found out that I was pregnant. I did ok for a while, but then it started getting harder and harder. I put my husband and myself through hell. And I wasn't sure if I was doing the baby more harm than good by being as depressed as I was.

In my situation, I kept working closely with my psychiatrist and at 24 weeks we decided that it was time to get back on medication. At that time he put me on the lowest dose of Zoloft and it did wonders.

I will also mention that Zoloft did not work for me before or after my pregnancy, but during my pregnancy it was the right medicine for me.

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K.G.

answers from Dayton on

Switch OB-GYN's. I'm surprised he/she wouldn't take this issue more seriously. There is a great blog that I read about a mom and I know she went off her anti-depressant meds while pregnant and then ended up in a mental institution with postpartum depression afterward. She may be able to help you. The address to her site is www.dooce.com. Drop her a line and search her site for any of the entries regarding her depression. Hope this helps!

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L.S.

answers from Columbus on

Hi, J.! I don't know if you're interested in natural remedies to depression, but that's what i would do--especially while pregnant. A paper in the "Archives of General Psychiatry" suggest that a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can cause depression so eat fish, eggs, nuts, flaxseed oil, etc.. Also, the xanthones in the peel of the mangosteen has a compound that Dr. Finsand says has helped hundreds of his patients and himself with depression. The rind of the mangosteen is in XanGo--a health supplement juice. Contact me if you're interested in trying it as you only need 3-6 ounces of it a day. Whatever you're decision may you have a healthy, happy pregnancy and an easy, pain-free (ha-ha) delivery--And, of course, a precious, healthy baby that sleeps all night and is potty-trained by age 1! :-) [email protected]____.com

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M.S.

answers from Elkhart on

I too have struggled with pregnancy and depression/anxiety. I took Zoloft and that helped me. There are many meds that you can still take while pregnant. A psychiatrist that I saw also said that there are no serious side effects, and that the stress you are feeling could actually be worse for your child than the meds. I hope this helps.

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M.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

hi, me and my good fried have the same issue. we both take prozac and love it. i took it my first couple months of being pregnant and then got right on it as soon as i delivered . mine is not so much depression. i get irritatted with everything. i feel prickly in my own skin. it is so hard. i would try and relax, baths and walking and i just could not swing it. i feel for you. but my dr said that if you really feel you have to have it there has been many women who have stayed on it if you really have to. but we tried really hard not to. i think my friend took it through her last pregnancy but she stop with this one. i can see she gets irritated quikly at things. it is just so frusterating you cannot tell your mind to just stop acting like that. good luck i wish i had some great news for ya to help. other then try to take it easy.

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S.C.

answers from South Bend on

You must have a very conservative OBGYN. It is widely known that there are many antidepressants that are safe during pregnancy. I was diagnosed with depression 13 years ago. Although I haven't taken Lexapro, I take Zoloft. Different people have luck with different drugs. During my first and second pregnancy, I couldn't take anything according to the doctor. The medication was too new back then. I had switched to Effexor before my third pregnancy, and I miscarried. I don't know if it was the drug or not. One year later I was pregnant again and was told that Zoloft was safe to take now, but I was scared. I took nothing the first trimeseter, and Prozac 2nd and 3rd which helped a little. The whole pregnancy was hard on me and my family. I am not a very good wife or mother without medication. Now 4 years later we are trying again for our fourth and last baby. This time I WILL take the Zoloft during my pregnancy. We do not want to go through nearly a year of misery again, but we definitely want one more child.

Do some research on your medication. Class A and B are proven safe during pregnancy. Class C is not suggested except when the benefits outweigh the risks. You know yourself and your family. If your family life is suffering because you aren't on medication, then take the meds. Your OBGYN sees you once a month for a few minutes which is not a good judge of your reality. Go to your family doctor or a psychiatrist.

Remember that you have to be whole in order to be a good mom.

A little about myself- Stay at home mom of 3 with 2 stepdaughters also. Livin life and loving my family

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C.L.

answers from Indianapolis on

Keep in mind antidepressants will become less effective over time. Some will even stop working on you. I have taken them before and then have finally told myself- to find another, better cruch in life to keep going. I have found other means to increase my serotonin levels. #1 method is exercise (you are pregnant)- walk slowly,do stretches,etc. if you can/ do yoga, or whatever your dr. lets you do. This will increase your serotonin levels w/ out drugs. It really works. #2 find out reason of depression- get couseling, help from people that make you do better. It works. #3 cut out all negative toxic people/situations in life. #4 Read some self help books- lots of great philosophies out there that can give you support and assistance in how to become a happier person. No one can make you happy. You have to make yourself happy and have to discover what it takes. Now I understand pregnancy -makes it harder w/ hormonal changes; but you can.... combat this... tell your self I can. You will still have down moments-but you have to fight it each day, moment, hour etc. Also,look in the mirror each morning and smile.. make your self do it - look at you.... it works.. it helps.. sounds stupid... but each day,,, be happy to be alive.... I have faced death 3 times and am so happy to see my child each day, and am happy to see everyone no matter what faults they have; it does not matter at the end. Faults do not matter. #5 Be positive at all times. You have to force yourself... sometimes.... its hard... but does work. Change your thoughts to good, positive ones. It takes a lot of time.... and work... if you are willing to do this. Somedays, I do fail..but I pick myself up and tell myself.. I ain't giving up... I do not think drugs is the answer to life... Dr.s love to push drugs... Find natural therapies for yourself.. They work if you believe in yourself. You are so lucky to have kids.. I cannot have anymore...I have been sick in the hospital several times... Also, look around and count your blessings and see how much you have and rather not have (think positive). All positive thoughts, energy , increases endorphins, serotonin- same thing Antidepressants do.... read,read... write back to me and tell me if Ihave helped any or not.....

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K.N.

answers from Columbus on

I was diagnosed with depression/anxiety/bi-polar, you name it. I dealt with taking different medications that the doctors told me would help me feel "normal" for 10+ years. I was on every medication, lexapro, wellbutrin, klonopin, prozac, luvox, zoloft, risperdal, etc.. between 1999 and 2009. Around 2007 I decided that medication was not working to make my life any easier. The medication itself was the worst thing I could have ever been advised to take to help with depression/anxiety. After my husband and I decided to try for a child I knew that taking ANY type of medication (even ones that ob's say are "safe" during pregnancy) was not the right thing to do. I know not everyone has the same religious beliefs and some people have none at all, but I just want to say the ONLY thing that has ever helped was trusting in God and He helped relieve my anxieties/depression.
My son is now 2 months old and is so incredibly happy and healthy and I feel better than I ever have in my life (almost one year without any meds and counting!!).... Medication is not the answer!!

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S.M.

answers from Bloomington on

I first want to say from a professional stand point, your doctor (as your OB/GYN) has two patients to look out for. 1. you 2. baby. So, they are probably trying to factor in the risks and benefits to both of you.

With that said, I personally had to be on antidepressants through my second pregnancy. My doctor prescribed Wellbutrin SR for me. At the time (about 1 year ago), Wellbutrin was considered to be the safest of antidepressants for use in pregnancy. Research may say something different now, as the medical field changes so rapidly. I had absolutely no problems due to the antidepressants during my pregnancy.

Once I gave birth to my daughter I was switched to Zoloft -- because I chose to breastfeed. I had some people tell me to just not breastfeed so I could take ANY antidepressant, but that was not an option for me. Not being able to breastfeed my daughter would have made me spiral down even deeper (that is just me). So, I did breastfeed and took Zoloft. Unfortunately, my daughter started to have 'seizure-like' movements...which can be a side effect of Zoloft, so I tapered off (with a doctors guidance) and have not gone on anything. I have been ok most of the time, but often feel like I 'could use something to feel more 'normal''. But I'm making it. Exercise has been a big help.

But I know that after having my first baby, it is very scary how deeply depressed a person can get -- and how real postpartum depression is. And had I not gotten help when I did... only God knows what may have happened. So, if you need the help, then get it now. You know yourself far better than anyone else.

So...I think there is definitely a time and place for the use of antidepressants. And other times that behavioural/lifestyle changes can help. Only you, the ob/gyn, and a good psychologist/pyschiatrist can make the best decision for your situation.

Finally, I just want you know that there are times that we can't just 'pull ourselves out of the pit.' Depression is a real illness, just like diabetes. It is an illness based on hormonal imbalance...just like diabetes. So, no matter what some people say -- don't let them guilt you into not taking medication if you need it. These people would never dream to tell you not to take insulin if you had diabetes and needed that...

Good luck with finding the right treatment for your situation.

A little about me:
I am a 35 yr. old, mother of two -- a girl (14 mos.) & a boy (4 yrs. old). I previously worked in the medical field, until having children and have chosen to stay home.

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M.N.

answers from Columbus on

I stayed on Zoloft. I was switched to Lexapro after the baby was born because my insurance changed. I had no problems with Zoloft and was on it for 2 babies. I even breast fed. One side effect is said to be a fussy baby but both my boys were perfect and they were good sleepers too. Ulitmately it is your choice. I just found that I needed my doasge increased after each baby for a few months and then I took it back down to normal again and was fine. I can't imagine how I would have felt if I had been on nothing at all. Just inform yourself. I would question a doctor that doesn't seem to be taking your concerns to heart. You know yourself better than anyone else and know what you need. Best of luck and congrats!

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M.N.

answers from Cincinnati on

I was on antidepressants prior to both my pregnancies and could not wait to go back on them. One thing that helped me was regular exercise - find a class for pregnant women at a YMCA etc. Also, check with your doctor who has you on the antidepressants for any specific med that has been shown to be safe for fetus in clinical trials. There are also ones that are not secreted in breast milk. And the best help are good friends that know you well and are willing to help you and visit with you! I still rememeber a great friend holding my newborn for hours when my daughter was a week old,to alow me to rest, eat and shower. Good luck.

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C.M.

answers from Cleveland on

hi J.,
i had pretty bad antepartum depression too. i was on prozac prior to conceiving my child but stopped once i found out i was pregnant. it wasn't pretty.

i ended up getting in a study at UPMC for antepartum depression - it is pretty rare from what i understand - like 2%.

anyway, the study was a HUGE help. i was able to stay off meds - come to find out i have s.a.d. and use light therapy. i am pregnant again with baby number 2 and have used the light the entire time i have been pregnant (7 mo.) and have not had any depression.

your depression may not be seasonal related as mine was. the other thing about my depression with my first one i had used strong infertility drugs to conceive and depression was a side effect - i got a kick start.

i don't know what class lexapro is for consuming while pregnant but i do know some are supposed to be pretty safe - safer then being depressed!!

best of luck to you,
C.

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M.S.

answers from Columbus on

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I found out last March that I was pregnant with my third child. At the time I was taking 500 mg of Wellbutrin xl a day. I stopped taking it but my ob told me that if i needed it that i could go back on a reduced dosage. I did ok until June and I had a pretty bad month. I got really close to going back on medication but decided against it. I did some really earnest praying and it helped. My baby boy is 16 weeks old now and so far so good. I have had to take antidepressants for most of the last 14 years but it feels really good to be off of them. I understand what you mean about getting to the point of no return. I did a lot of research on this while I was pregnant and felt the right choice for me was not to take the medication. There have been studies that show that some meds are safe to take while pregnant. I guess you have to decide what is best for you. I wish you well- it is a very difficult decision.

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D.S.

answers from Dayton on

Hi J.,

My advice would be to go see your therapist or whoever put you on the antidepressants in the first place. YOU are the only one who knows how you really feel and if things don't seem right, they probably aren't. I myself am clinically depressed and before I conceived I tried to go off my meds. I realized very quickly that it wasn't good for me. So I got pregnant and continued to stay on my medication. Studies have shown that although it would be ideal for a women to not be on anti-depressants during pregnancy, if you need to be on them, the possible risks from the meds highly outweigh the risk of being a depressed and possibly dangerous (to yourself or your baby) mother.

Another reason I would suggest going back on your meds is because after I had my duaghter I had pretty PPD. If I had been on NO medication, I could only imagine how bad/tough it would have been.
BTW- My daughter was born healthy and has shown no signs of withdrawal from being exposed to Lexapro while in my womb.

Good luck and keep us posted on how you are doing.

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J.S.

answers from Columbus on

this may be a long shot, but have you ever heard of progesterone cream? it is OTC, you can get it at health food stores, and it is just a hormonal cream, but not shown to have the side effects and dangers of estrogen. you apply 1/2 tsp of the lotion to the "fatty areas"----i've got plenty of those---a couple times a day. it may not be as powerful for you as the prescription stuff, but may tide you over. it takes several days for it to build up in your system enough to start feeling it; although i notice a difference within a few minutes, now that i've been using it regularly.

i struggle with PPD, and it can start during pregnancy with subsequent kids, and this has helped me ALOT. progesterone is the foremost hormone during pregnancy, so using a bit more does not hurt the pregnancy. in fact, all the evidence that my midwives gave me was that the babies end up even healthier...;-) both of mine did, anyway, and this cream has saved my marriage because we didn't have insurance and could not afford going to a dr.

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A.S.

answers from Indianapolis on

I am a therapist and also suffered from depression although being pregnant seemed to 'right' my imbalance. I urge you to talk to a different doctor. My doctor told me that the risk was minimal. There is more harm to the unborn baby is you are depressed. When you have more stress hormones etc in your body, so does the unborn baby. They have done studies with severely depressed women and there babies are born 'depressed' according to their norepinephrine, seratonin and stress hormones. Plus, there is no reason to wait until you can no longer function well- especially since you already have a family to take care of. Call your internist or another OBGYN. Please! I hope that helps. You could also try therapy, meditation etc. although you probably don't have tons of time for that :) Good luck.

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W.H.

answers from Dayton on

i suffered post partum depression with my first (he's now 3). i started taking something (i think it was lexapro) and liked the results but stopped taking it because my insurance ended. when i got pregnant with #2, now 5 months old, i was probably 12 weeks into the pregnancy when i started on Zoloft. i just felt my self needing something. i know that the depression gets worse after delivery if you have had problems with it beofore. i highly recommend taking some kind of anti-depressent. it will make a big differece. good luck.

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S.H.

answers from Indianapolis on

The use of anti-depressants during pregnancy is absolutely acceptable. The risks of the medicine have to be weighed off against the risks of the depression. If you already struggle with depression, the risk for post partum depression is very high (and can actually already start during pregnancy).
There are very few medicines that fall in the "no-no" category. I personally do not know lexapro so I don't know in what category it falls but the person who prescribes it to you can easily find out. I am not quite sure why your OB is reaction the way she is since the OB offices are very involved with PPD prevention.
I truly believe that the risks of the PPD defenitely outweigh the risks of medicines.

Good luck!

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K.J.

answers from Columbus on

There are many antidepressants that you can use during pregnancy. I was on Lexapro thoughout my last pregnancy with no problem at all. It sounds like your OB just may not be very knowledgeable about depression. Is she waiting for you to make a suicide attempt? Being depressed while pregnant is actually bad for the baby. I saw Dr. Jennifer Papp at Doctor's West Hospital. She was very kind and patient and more than willing to work with me while I was on antidepressants. Do you know the book, "Medications and Mother's Milk?" by Thomas Hale. It lists almost every medication and tells how safe they are for pregnancy and for nursing. If you want me to look up a particular medicine I'd be happy to. Listen to your gut. If it's telling you that you need to be on meds than to it. It's even more important since you already have 2 little ones!

Good luck!

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M.B.

answers from Muncie on

J., my daughters took Paxil all through their pregancies
and had no problems. You're the one who knows how you feel
and you're the one with the final decision. Remember the dr.
has to think constantly about lawsuits if anything goes wrong.
Why don't you go to webmd to check with other docs?
Good luck, Mary

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J.N.

answers from Indianapolis on

J., I know exactly what you are going through. I was taking Prozac before I got pregnant w/my daughter and was very concerned about taking anything. After speaking w/my family doc and OB, I felt much better and ended up taking just a lower dose of Lexapro. They both agreed that there was little to no risk. I would suggest taking w/your family doc if your OB won't work w/you. I have had depression since college (almost 10yrs, as well) and haven't been off anti-depressants since then. I actually work in the mental health field and know that just b/c someone is doing well on meds, doesn't mean they shouldn't keep taking them. They are doing well, very likely, b/c of the meds. I tried to be off for the first couple months of my pregnancy and couldn't handle it either. So, I would, from personal experience, try 10 or 20mg of Lexapro. My daughter is a healthy and beautiful toddler about to turn 3. I hope you have success and relief soon.

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J.W.

answers from Dayton on

If you Dr is buckig the issue of your depression you need to get a new doctor. I took Lexapro my entire pregnancy and all is well. Just know that you are not alone is this and make sure you take care of yourself.

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D.I.

answers from South Bend on

You may want to check with your regular physician about keeping the lexapro going. Some antidepressants can cause issues in pregnancy. I am not sure about the lexapro. Just tell your family doctor how you are feeling and what your ob/gyn has said. It may be in your best interest in the long run for the baby's sake to stay off the lexapro, but I would run the issue across your reg. doctor. I didn't have to have lexapro until after my 3rd son was born and I was taking care of 2 others as well. Your doc. may keep you on it but cut the dosage down. Take care and good luck!
D.

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S.F.

answers from Fort Wayne on

OBGYN is not the best person to talk to about anti-depressent medications. Talk to a psychiatrist and then consult your OBGYN before taking the drug while pregnant. Your OB does not seem in-tune with your symptoms, and it's not for her to decide whether or not your symptoms or problematic. You know what is right for you. If she can't give you the answers you need, please do not stop looking. Contact a psychiatrist for other meds or meditation you could possibly do in order to quiet the symptoms. Good luck!

[email protected]____.com
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D.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

Hi, J.. I have did a lot of research on the subject. I had not been on prozac a year before I became pregnant. I panicked and got off my meds immediately. It was the other way around for me, my midwife actually looked it up in her medical book and read it to me, this was after I had researched the subject on the net, but like you, I knew I needed something. I went back on prozc but swithched to zoloft, after stupidly trying to go without it after the baby was born. I went down hill fast. I am not sure why your doc. is bucking you on this especially since you've been dealing with this for so long. I KNOW zoloft doesn't work as well, but it was my compromise because I wanted what would least affect my breastmilk. It is definately worth another go round with the doc. This time print off info from web md or google the med your interested in. You'll definately be more confident when you've researched the subject yourself. Like I said I have not dealt with this situation nearly as long as you, but I truely can identify. I use to be one of those people who thought depression was just a description of your current mood. The real deal is no fun and you have to do what is best for you and your baby and your family. God Bless and good luck.

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T.M.

answers from Cleveland on

Hello J.,
Try to talk with your OBGYN more about this. If you are feeling this way now, things may only get worse for you in the future.
I know from experience. I suffered from post pardum depression after my first child (who is now 4) It lasted for two years. So, when I was pregnant with my second child my doctor said I could take some medicine during my pregnancy to help but I chose not to. Now, I wish I would've. I did start on Zoloft when I was in the hospital with my second child I thought I was doing ok, but it hit me like a brick. He is now 16 mo. and I'm still suffering from the depression. So, if you can get it under control now, please try to. You know your body better than anyone!
They say that women tend to get depression during pregnancy and don't realize it.
I'm sure there are women out there who have taken meds. during their pregnancy. I know at this point I couldn't function without mine:)
Hang in there and congratulations!

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T.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

I feel your pain. I had the same issues when I was pregnant with my son. I have OCD and took meds until pregnancy. Without the meds and with the ever-changing hormones during pregnancy, I was a mess. Everything I read basically said there wasn't research to support that meds did anything to the baby. So I talked to my doctor and WE concluded it was best to go back on the meds. (I think I was taking Prozac.)During the last few weeks of pregnancy, I did start to go off the meds and when I was breast feeding. I also saw a counselor and that helped a lot- she helped me realize I wasn't go to lose my mind after all. So, there may be alternative to meds that the DR knows about that may work as well. The key is getting a doctor to hear you so together you can chose the treatment that is right for you.

My son is 4 years old now and quite a happy-go-lucky child. I am consistently taking my meds and I am glad that I am.

I think the bottom line is that you need to tell your dr just how bad you are feeling. If he/she ignores it, I'd try another dr. Depression is an illness just like any other. If you had heart disease would your doctor suggest you just deal with it while you are pregnant?

Hope this helps. I'll pray for you.

T.

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M.M.

answers from Cleveland on

I was on an antidepressant for anxiety during my pregnancy with my twin boys, I was taking Buspar at a low dose and was OK during the pregnancy but had a hard time post partum. I was in contact with both my OB/GYN and Primary Care Physician (since my Primary doctor knew of my history with anxiety). Since I had post partum anxiety I tried a different medicine, Zoloft, and and it really helped me finally feel better - I am hoping to get pregnant soon again and I am planning on taking Zoloft throughout the pregancy. Has your doctor gone over the risks with taking Lexapro? All the medicines are so different - if it is considered safe I would get back onto it, (maybe try a lower dose and see how that works for you, if that would make you more comfortable). There may be no known risks with the drug and therefore, your benefits of taking it far outweigh the risks. Check with your primary physician. I hope this helps! Good Luck!

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T.K.

answers from Columbus on

This is in NO way medical advice. I am NOT a doctor!

I am looking at Family Practice News (a journal for Family Practice docs) for June 2007. They have a column about "Prenatal use of SSRIs."

They do show a consistent finding of babes who have "neonatal abstinence syndrome", a fancy way of saying that the baby has jitteriness, crying, etc. if mom has taken an SSRI (Lexapro is one) during pregnancy. There is also a chance of birth defects if taken in the first trimester. Since you are 25 weeks you are past that. A doctor is right to be concerned about these issues, but should not respond that since you "don't seem to be doing that bad" it isn't an issue. Because, "...clinical depression that is untreated during pregnancy is the strongest predictor of postaprtum depression- which can have enduring effects for the patient, her newborn, and her family."

A column in the same journal for Feb/2007 comments "...the willingness to accept the risk of depression relapse vs. fetal exposure to medication. Every patient applies her own calculus with respect to the amount of risk she and her partner may be willing to accept."

Only you can decide if the risks to your health and possibly your life are more than the risks of your baby's exposure to the medication. Any time you introduce a "foreign" substance into your body there are risks. But these risks are also relative to your body and situation.

If medication isn't an option, perhaps seeing a counselor/pyschatrist on a regular basis to help you function and/or help you decide if the risks of depression become too much. Your OB or Family doc should be able to provide you with a referral if needed.

There are also many ways to try and lower your risks of depression, I notice some have already been listed here by others.

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C.G.

answers from Indianapolis on

I took Zoloft through my entire pregnancy and am still on it while bfing for 20 months. I do know that Welbutrin is not an option. Just talk to your doc. There are options out there.

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K.T.

answers from Columbus on

I took Wellbutrin during my second pregnancy, so you might specifically ask your doctor about that.

Good luck!

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