Is It Safe To Take Antidepressants While Pregnant
There is much debate surrounding whether or not antidepressants are safe for women to take while pregnant, as well as the long-term effects they may have on newborn infants. However, some antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , are proven to be low-risk to your baby. Examples of SSRIs include Prozac , Zoloft and Celexa .
“Overall, there is limited evidence of dangerous effects on the fetus and effects during breast feeding,” Dr. Seacat says. “There is some limited information out there that there may be an increased risk of heart defects associated with some SSRI exposure in the first trimester . Exposure to these medications in late pregnancy may be associated with short-term complications to the baby such as jitteriness, mild respiratory distress, weak cry and possible NICU admission.”
Women with mild to moderate depression may be able to manage their symptoms through other methods. However, for pregnant women suffering from severe depression, both their mental health provider and prenatal care provider can discuss using antidepressants as a treatment method.
“All in all, using medication is an individual decision and should be made between the patient and doctor after weighing risks and benefits,” Dr. Seacat says. “Although medications have potential side effects, worsening depression or anxiety during pregnancy can be even more detrimental to the pregnancy, fetus and baby.”
Treatment For Antenatal Depression
Treatment can include:
- Counselling and talking therapies: therapists look at whats contributing to your depression and try to help you change the way you feel. Make sure they are registered with an accredited body, like the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy or the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy or British Psychoanalytic Council
- Medication: antidepressants can help to ease symptoms. Women who have a history of depression or havent responded to therapy are more likely to be offered medication. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , or tricyclic anti-depressants and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors do have some rare risks associated with them. But they are generally considered safe in pregnancy.
- Combination of both: different people respond to different treatment so talk about your options with your GP.
- Contact organisations like MIND , Well Scotland or Inspire in Northern Ireland.
What Is Antenatal Anxiety
Anxiety is more than feeling anxious about a specific situation it occurs when feelings of being anxious and stressed dont go away, cant be controlled easily, and come on without any particular reason. Excessive worry and the stress of anxiety can start to have a serious impact on your life.
Anxiety is one of the most common types of mental health problem in Australia, and your chances of developing it are greater when youre pregnant. However, its often missed and the symptoms are put down to hormones, being over-organised, or as just a normal part of being pregnant.
Antenatal anxiety might involve you developing one or more of the following conditions during pregnancy, or your symptoms might get worse while youre pregnant:
- generalised anxiety
- panic disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- social phobia
If you already have an anxiety disorder or you are someone who worries a lot, you may be at greater risk of developing anxiety during pregnancy. If you already have an anxiety disorder, its important to seek treatment early on in the pregnancy to make sure you and your baby receive the right care.
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Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
Depression In Pregnant Women And Mothers: How Children Are Affected
Depression is a common, treatable mood disorder. About 6% of women, including up to 10% of women who are pregnant, will experience depression at some time during their lives.
Women are more at risk of depression while they are pregnant, and during the weeks and months after having a baby. Depression during these times can be confused with the symptoms of pregnancy or with the baby blues that many women experience right after birth.
The good news is that depression can be treated. Its important to talk to your doctor if you think you are depressed. If left untreated, depression can lead to problems for you and your baby or child.
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Depression During And After Pregnancy Is Common And Treatable
Recent CDC research shows that about 1 in 8 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Additionally, a recent analysis by CDCexternal icon found the rate of depression diagnoses at delivery is increasing and it was seven times higher in 2015 than in 2000.
Having a baby is challenging and every woman deserves support. If you are experiencing emotional changes or think that you may be depressed, make an appointment to talk to your health care provider as soon as possible. Most people get better with treatment and getting help is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.
Effective depression treatment can include a combination of medication therapy, counseling, and referrals. is talking to your health care provider. After your visit, make sure to follow-up on all referrals and treatment that he or she suggests. When discussing medications with your provider, let her or him know if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding. You and your provider can decide if taking medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding is right for you. Read Medicine and Pregnancy for more information.
If the situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention LifelineExternalexternal icon at 1-800-273-TALK for free and confidential crisis counseling available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY: Dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255. Online chatExternalexternal icon is also available 24/7.
Why Isnt Anyone Talking About Prenatal Depression
Two months after the nadir of my prenatal depression, my husband can finally joke that he knew things were dire when I started envying Mad MensBetty Draper Francis. While Betty was pregnant, I explained to him at the time, no one expected her to do anything but lie around all day in bed in her shortie nightgowns. I was nine weeks pregnant then, and so irrationally anxious about how I was going to manage the insertion of a much-wanted baby into my already busy working life that I hadnt slept for three days, and cried pretty much continuously. My morning sickness was so unrelenting that I was barely keeping any food down, and when I took the short walk from our bed to the kitchen, my body would shake.
In my saner moments, I told myself: You will not be the first working woman to have a baby. You have a supportive husband and a good marriage and a boatload of other sundry privileges. You will be fine. But those reasonable thoughts were drowned out by a bleak combination of terror and regret. I had just started a new, demanding job, and every morning at 7 when I pulled my MacBook onto my lap, sinking deeper into bed, I felt so unlike myself, so incompetent, that I wished I wasnt pregnant. I never considered abortion for a second, but I longed for some alternate universe where I could claw out of my sad self, leaving the broken shell behind to grow the baby while I resumed being a person again.
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What Is The Treatment For Depression
Treatment for depression usually involves a combination of self-help, talking therapies (such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy and medicines.
Everyone is different, so treatments that may work for some people may not work for others. Your doctor will help you decide whats best for you. You will probably also be referred to a perinatal mental health specialist and will be monitored more closely during and after your pregnancy.
The treatment you have will be your decision. Your healthcare professional can help you by talking to you about what youd like to do and explaining the risks and benefits of all options.
They will also talk to you about:
- whats best for your stage of pregnancy
- any risks medication may pose to your baby
- the risk that you might become unwell again without medication
- how bad your symptoms are
- whether you have had the condition before
- how well the medication has worked for you so far, if you are already taking it.
If the recommended treatment is antidepressants, your doctor will discuss the risks of the treatment to your baby, including:
- what is known about their safety during pregnancy
- whether the baby may have some mild symptoms when born and whether breastfeeding may reduce the possibility of these occurring.
If you understand the risks to you and your baby and still decide to stop medication, your doctor should talk to you about other ways to manage your symptoms. For example, they may suggest talking therapies.
Depression During Pregnancy Isnt Something You Can Just Shake Off
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The American Psychiatric Association , between 14 and 23 percent of women will experience some symptoms of depression during pregnancy. But misconceptions about perinatal depression depression during pregnancy and after childbirth can make it tough for women to get the answers they need, says Dr. Gabby Farkas, a New York-based therapist who specializes in reproductive mental health issues.
Patients tell us all the time that their family members tell them to shake it off and get themselves together, Farkas says. Society at large thinks that pregnancy and having the baby is the happiest period of a womans life and thats the only way to experience this. When in fact, women experience a whole spectrum of emotions during this time.
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When Pregnancy And Depression Collide
Being pregnant and knowing your little bundle of joy is on the way is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life. Unfortunately for some women, pregnancy brings a wide range of emotions on the other end of the spectrum including fear, stress, hopelessness, confusion and depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in eight women will experience some form of clinical depression during her lifetime.
“It is estimated that about 14 to 23 percent of pregnant women experience depression during pregnancy, or antepartum depression, and five to 25 percent experience depression postpartum,” says Courtney A. Seacat, M.D., an OB/GYN physician at INTEGRIS Health Edmond.
What Causes Pregnancy Loneliness
There are as many reasons for feeling lonely during pregnancy as there are pregnancy experiences.
Pregnancy loneliness is caused by a variety of things. Your body is changing in ways no one else can understand unless they are also pregnant. Whats more, even those closest to you may not be able to fully understand or empathize with what youre going through. You might feel like they dont or cant care enough. If you dont have a support system, you might feel overwhelmed about being pregnant and taking care of your pre-pregnancy responsibilities at home and at work. Our individualistic culture can also contribute to making you feel isolated. You may feel like you have lost your tribe or need to find a new one.
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Pregnancy Loneliness Vs Depression
There can be a fine line between feeling lonely during pregnancy and being depressed. Pay attention to how you are feeling and dont wait to reach out.
Maybe you tried and tried for a pregnancy, and dont understand why youre feeling down, now that you have what you wanted.
While feelings of loneliness may come and go, depression is a persistent, gnawing feeling. It may be borne out of loneliness, but it brings new depths of discouragement. Even worse, some may feel guilty for feeling depressed. Maybe you tried and tried for a pregnancy, and dont understand why youre feeling down, now that you have what you wanted. These feelings of guilt can turn to silence, making the weight of depression even heavier.
Signs And Symptoms Of Antenatal Or Prenatal Depression
Antenatal depression can happen at any point during pregnancy. Look out for:
- Unusual amount of worry about giving birth and parenthood.
- Lack of energy and disturbed sleep.
- Losing interest in yourself or your pregnancy.
- Feeling emotionally detached, teary, angry or irritable.
- Chronic anxiety.
- Sense of hopelessness about the future.
Bear in mind that you wont necessarily experience all of these symptoms. And some of them are common in all pregnancies too.
This can make antenatal depression hard to spot but if youre at all worried, flag it up to your GP or midwife .
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How My Journey Began
I was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorder at age 21, and also experienced childhood trauma at age 13 following my fathers suicide. In my mind, my diagnoses and my desire for children have always been separate. Never could I have imagined how deeply my mental health treatment and my ability to have children were intertwined a refrain Ive heard from many women since going public about my own story.
When I began this journey, my priority was getting pregnant. This dream came before anything else, including my own health and stability. I would let nothing stand in my way, not even my own well-being.
I charged blindly forward without asking for second opinions or carefully weighing the possible outcomes of going off of my medication. I underestimated the power of untreated mental illness.
I dont blame myself for my past decisions, especially because I made all of them under the supervision of multiple doctors. In December 2013, I sat in my psychiatrists office, excitedly telling her that my husband and I wanted to start trying. And she gave me a response that I have heard over and over since: If youre going to get pregnant, you should go off of your medication. Its not safe to be pregnant while taking antidepressants.
Is There Anything Else I Should Do
If you are feeling any of the symptoms listed above, it is very important to tell someone. The early days of taking care of a new baby can be hard. Youre probably not sleeping much as you try to meet your babys needs around the clock. Find a friend, family member or someone else you trust who can look after your baby for short periods while you get a break. If people offer help, accept it.
There are many support programs for new mothers. Talk to your doctor, nurse, midwife, or contact your local public health office for a listing of services in your area.
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How Are Problems Treated
Treatment for mental health problems may include:
- Prescription medicine. Always talk to a doctor before you start taking or stop taking any medicines during your pregnancy. If you take any kind of medicine for a mental health issue and are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, tell your doctor. Don’t stop taking it unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines may cause problems for a growing baby, but stopping your medicine may make things worse. Your doctor can make a treatment plan that is best for you and your baby.
- Talk therapy. Talking one-on-one with a therapist can be a great way to manage stress, deal with depression, and ease anxiety during pregnancy. Finding a support group where you can share your concerns with other mothers who know what you’re going through also can help. Talking with a social worker or counselor can help you deal with money issues, worries over raising a child, or other stresses in your life.
- Other approaches. Many women find comfort in activities like yoga, exercise, and meditation. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, talking to a friend, family member, or faith leader can help you feel better.
Many moms feel anxious or depressed at some point in their pregnancy, and some may even need treatment for it. But a mental health problem doesn’t have to be a problem for you or your baby. Get the help you need to feel better, and you’ll be doing the best thing for you both.