Zoloft and Pregnancy - Saginaw,MI

Updated on April 21, 2010
S.G. asks from Midland, MI
12 answers

I am almost 31 weeks pregnant with a history of depression both within myself and my family. This is my 3rd pregancy and with my history plus I have a ton of personal drama going on in my life, my dr decided to put me on zoloft so that if I did get postpartum I was already taking steps to help. My husband and I are getting divorced and I am living with my parents and I dont have time to deal with postpartum and being a single mom to 3 small children. My question is has anyone taken zoloft while pregnant and what effects did you notice in your baby. My dr said he will go through withdrawls but since I am breastfeeding it wont be nearly as bad. Thank you so much!

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So What Happened?

I talked to my dr more today and she said that I should stay on my meds and that my son at the most may be a little cranky for the first day. So I am gonna stay on my meds! Thanks for all your answers!

More Answers


answers from New York on

Dear S.,
What a tough time you are experiencing. My best wishes to you.

It sounds like you have very legitimate "external" reasons to be depressed nd for feeling terrible with all the drama happening in your life. ANYONE in your shoes would be feeling the same way, whether they had a family history of depression or not. So taking Zoloft is NOT a solution because your depression is being caused by the terrible experiences you're having in your life.
If at all possible, try to seek other forms of therapy that (hopefully) may be available for you. Psychotherapy, finding someone to talk to, can work wonders in this kind of situation. I hope there are low fee places in your community.
You say that you don't have time to "deal with postpartum". Why do you assume that you WILL have postpartum depression. Perhaps it may not happen. One of my friends is going through a similar situation and although she is sad, she understands that she will be better off on her own than living with her bum of a husband.
Your doctor is wrong to say that there is no effect on the fetus from this drug. The truth is that these drugs have not been thoroughly tested for their effects on developing babies. Try to seek psychotherapy, massage therapy, yoga, whatever you think might help you through this time. Thanks your parents every day for helping you through this and make sure your Soon-to-be-Ex provides you with the help you need to care for the children you already have with him.
Hope that your situation improves very soon.
But by all means, if you start experiencing thoughts of harming yourself or others, talk to your doctor for any medication that can help you through until you get on your feet.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Obviously only you and your doctor can determine whether the benefits of you taking the medication during pregnancy will outweigh the risks and side effects.

Zoloft is a class C drug and should only be administered in pregnancy when SERIOUSLY indicated. So if you ARE depressed right now, it may be indicated (and we are talking clinical depression, not feeling stressed and sad due to your personal situation).
Has this been prescribed by your OB/Gyn? Are you seeing a mental health professional? With your history and your situation you might benefit from a referral to a psychiatrist, preferably one with experience in treating PPD.

I know its the web, so I may me misinterpreting the "tone" of your post, but to me it sounds a lot like you are hoping for a "quick and easy" fix for a very complicated and hurtful situation. Taking an antidepressant will not be able to do this for you. It will only help with clinical depression, it will not change your situation or help you cope with divorce or being a single mother. Get yourself into counseling ASAP.

You might still need medication if you do develop PPD, but personally I would at least get a second opinion before exposing my unborn child to a drug that might or might not be needed for a condition you may (or may not) develop.
Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Hello S. - I've been on Zoloft for about 12 years now. I took it while I was pregnant with both my daughters as well as while I was breast-feeding. My OB/GYN was the one who wrote the prescription for the Zoloft during my pregnancy (my regular doctor felt better having it that way). I did not see any affect from this on either of my daughters. I nursed my first daughter for 8 months, but was only able to nurse my youngest daughter for a month after birth (she is now 4 months old) and I never noticed any type of withdrawl symptoms.

The after-affects of stopping Zoloft "cold-turkey" are very unpleasant. I would not suggest stopping. Talk with your OB/GYN more about any concerns you may have.



answers from Augusta on

Check out the website www.postpartumprogress.com for some good info on postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is not guaranteed just because you had it before, but it is great that you are looking out for it.

Your baby probably will not have any symptoms of withdrawal- that isn't something that is mentioned in the literature. There is also no way that getting the drug through the breastmilk would cause your baby not to have withdrawal- the amount the baby gets through the milk is too small to have any effect on the baby. Consider this- if a baby is sick we do not have the baby's mom take the medicine and breastfeed the baby because the baby would not get enough medicine to have an effect. Same thing if mom is sick and needs medicine- for most drugs there is not enough passed on to have an effect.

Here is a link to the government's drugs and lactation database: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/f?./temp/~L8... I work in this field and zoloft is the drug I typically prescribe for my pregnant patients.

You must always weigh the risks and benefits of taking any drug. There are proven risks for a baby who has a mom who is depressed. It's very important to have a healthy mom in order to have a healthy baby. Best wishes for your pregnancy.



answers from Kalamazoo on

I suffered from post partum depression with my first pregnancy and continued on a low dose of zoloft during my second pregnancy. Also, my cousin was hospitalized for depression during her second pregnancy. She was also on zoloft during the remainder of her second pregnancy and again during her third pregnancy. All of our kids are healthy! I don't know about everyone else, but my babies sleep like crazy the first few weeks anyway (again I was not medicated for my first pregnancy). I didn't notice any withdrawals.

If you know that you are prone to depression...you know when you need help. I suggest getting help before you feel totally helpless. People who have never sufferd from depression do not understand. And the medication is just an extra boost to "take the edge off."



answers from Cleveland on

Dear S.,

I didn't take an antidepressant while pregnant or for PPD; I did take wellbutrin when my youngest was still nursing once or twice a day (he was 4 or so, and showed no effects). Wellbutrin, was, however, a life-saver for me.

Check with La Leche League for their info about meds while nursing, and they may have some info on meds while pregnant. (1-800-LA LECHE; they also have a web site).

Sounds like it is a tough time for you now, and I hope all goes well. Hugs to you!

K. Z.



answers from Detroit on

Zoloft is considered compatible with breastfeeding. I've not seen any reaction in the babies whose moms are taking zoloft. I've not seen any signs of withdrawl in the babies. Rest assured, you're taking good care of yourself and your family.



answers from Detroit on

Hi S.---I am so sorry to hear of your situation. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to not be sad. But do be very careful not to mistake sadness for depression. I think the medical community is WAY too quick to put a depression diagnosis on just about everything.

Having said that, you need to make the best decision for you. Keep in mind that you have much to be thankful for, and if you can take some time every morning when you wake to list what you are grateful for, the day will be much different.

You also must be very strong for your babies. Think of them and how they will learn from how you handle this situation. I agree you must get counseling and please try to think of this as investing in your health. Join a support group. Be sure to get exercise. Research has shown that exercise is better than anti-depressants.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, be sure your diet is supporting optimal health. You should be eating mostly fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seed, while minimizing animal protein, and that includes milk (www.strongbones.org). Getting adequate and optimal nutrition will help your body to make the chemicals necessary for good mental health. Doesn't it make sense that if you aren't giving your body the proper building blocks, you could possibly be succeptible to deeper levels of depression and mental health problems? Start keeping a food journal to see exactly what you are eating. You should be eating at LEAST 10 servings of fruit and veg every day...likely more because that beautiful new baby that is growing inside of you needs as many as you can give him/her.

I am taking a series of wellness classes taught by a Naturopath who has her PhD in nutrition. I have lots and LOTS of great ideas and I am honored to help others learn how to be healthier. Send me a message or feel free to give me a call. I am out of town until Apr 26 so please call my cell if before then. I am more than happy to take your call. ###-###-####

Edit-Sorry. Forgot to sign my name. Take care, D.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I took Welbutrin during my last pregnancy... I was very depressed - to the point where I could barely function. My Dr.'s said the Welbutrin was fine during the pregnancy (esp. since I didn't start taking until into the 2nd trimester), its suppose to be one of the safest ones out there. However, they did not advise breastfeeding while on it. I would question the breastfeeding while on it.

My son hasn't had any effects that I know of b/c of the medication. My son spent no time in the NICU, had no withdrawl symptoms... he was born very healthy at 36 weeks via c-section (my first was an emergency c-section at 28 weeks so my OB would not let me go full term with the next one).

I can sympathize.... You need to do what is best for you. One of the things that one of my Dr's and I discussed before going on the medication was that I needed to be able to take care of me. If I wasn't able to take care of myself, then I wasn't any good to the rest of my family and couldn't take care of them. Talk to your Dr - see if they have any good psychologists that you and your Dr can work with. It made a world of difference for me... 2 days after starting the medicine I was able to sleep - the first time in 6 months. It was the best feeling.

Good luck to you.



answers from Detroit on

your depression can be taken care of one your baby is born. DO NOT GO ON AN ANTIDEPRESSANT NOW!! Once baby comes, you can start your antidepressant, and xanax (?) to help. I would not breastfeed while taking these drugs either. This comes from a mom who has a family with no history of depression or anxiety, and I was ready to jump off a bridge...long story short, I had twins at 30 weeks, via emergency c-section, and they were in the hospital for 6 weeks. During those 6 weeks, I was pumping every 2-3 hours 24/7 until they came home (again 6 weeks later). After the pumping, I went on an antidepressant and anti anxiety meds and am still on them. I know moms who have been on antidepressants/anxiety meds thru their pregnancy, or aleast their 3 trimester, and and their "healthy" babies are in the NICU for withdrawel from the meds, and they are full term babies who are there for 4 + weeks...



answers from Detroit on

I also suffered from PPD with my first child. I am afraid it will happen again if i have another. I am worried about taking the meds while pregnant so I figured that if I am able to function while pregnant I will not take them and begin them as soon as the baby is born. have you thought about that option. If that is not an option for you then do what you need to do for the baby and your family. Don't let anyone tell you that meds are just a cop out. I know from experience that you can not do anything in your life to change how you feel without meds. Once you are stable on meds then yes I believe lifestyle changes can help some people but to get there meds are needed.



answers from Detroit on

Afterr my third child I asked my dr to put me on something and she said as long as I'm nursing my my baby she could not I researched and it saif if taken during pregnancy
It can cause kidney damage also the same if taken during nursing, soi I sggest getting a second opinion

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