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Antidepressants during pregnancy?

(12 Posts)
Olishi Wed 23-Mar-16 08:12:04

I've known from just a few weeks into my second pregnancy that I didn't feel quite right. About a month ago I finally started to admit to people that I was feeling down and anxious, something that was difficult as I had severe depression and anxiety as a child until I found a wonderful psychotherapist at the age of 22.

As soon as I mentioned to midwife and the consultants they've sent me to see about my concerns they brought up medication. I am not against medication at all, I just found it never worked for me. I started antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication at the age of 12 and was on and off them for years. The only thing that helped me was the therapy I recieved.

I've said that, until things start getting really bad I want to try and cope without medication. However... Things are getting bad and I was wondering if anyone had any experiences of taking medication during pregnancy? Also after, as I was hoping to breast feed (failed miserably with my first born) but am worried about any pills getting into the babies system.

Is my anxiety clouding my judgement perhaps? I just don't know what's best at the moment and am struggling to think straight. I just want to go back to being able to think reasonably.

KnitsBakesAndReads Wed 23-Mar-16 08:55:30

No personal experience of taking medication, but I know there are medications for depression and anxiety that are considered to be safe during pregnancy. There are even more options that are safe during breastfeeding as in many cases medication is passed into the milk in such low doses that it is very unlikely to have any effect on the baby.

Have you been referred to a specialist prenatal / postnatal mental health consultant? They would be the best people to advise you about what is safe to take if you feel that you might need medication. Have you also been referred to a psychologist if you previously found therapy helpful? If not it's definitely worth asking for this.

It sounds positive that you're able to recognise that your anxiety might be clouding your judgement about whether medication is safe. Talking to your consultant might help you to get some more concrete information about what options there are so that you can discuss it and make an informed decision about whether medication would help.

Take care of yourself, and remember that pregnancy can be tough even without depression or anxiety on top of it, so be kind to yourself and remember what a great job you're doing even when it doesn't feel like that.

FifiRebel Wed 23-Mar-16 09:28:38

I've suffered from severe antenatal depression/anxiety from the start of my pregnancy. I'm now 22 weeks and finally given in and agreed to meds. I have been given sertraline.

My mood has fluctuated so much over the pregnancy - wish I had taken the medication sooner to be honest. I found that my mood in pregnancy was much worse than previous episodes of depression that I have had. Not sure if that's a good indicator for others?

FifiRebel Wed 23-Mar-16 09:29:47

Just spotted your BF question - the perinatal team have advised me sertraline is safe for use during breastfeeding

SunnyScot89 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:44:48

I've been on Setraline all through this pregnancy. I was on 100mg/day before we conceived then as soon as I got the positive I droped to 50mg, then 25mg at 12 weeks. I tried to reduce again to 25mg every second day but found my anxiety increasing. Yes its not ideal to be taking medication whilst pregnant but it is better that you feel well and positive. I was very against drugs at the start of my depression - I was of the opinion that environmental changes would be more helpful... but after a lot of thinking and talking I realised that part of depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain and you wouldn't have a problem taking drugs for an imbalance in your liver or any other organ, so yes, I would make lifestyle changes but maybe I also needed drugs to help me.

I figured if I have a healthy lifestyle, good diet and generally look after myself during pregnancy the probability of problems is a lot less than if I dug myself deeper and deeper into depression and anxiety.

I'm now 23 weeks pregnant and feeling great. I have regular check ups with the GP and the midwife doesn't seem at all bothered by me being on medication. All seems good with my baby.

Yes you need to look after baby but you need to be well too.

Naughty1205 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:49:40

I've taken lexapro during pregnancy 1 and lustral all through second pregnancy and jus had baby number 2. Both are perfect. Lustral is recommended as being the safer one during pregnancy. I met a pharmacist of a psychiatric hospital to go through this in detail. Best of luck with what you decide. Depression during pregnancy, or any other time for that matter, is a bitch.

Naughty1205 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:50:24

Lustral=sertraline just to clarify

drasticfantastic Wed 23-Mar-16 10:59:16

I took citalopram throughout my pregnancy, staying on my usual dose (30mg). Previous attempts to come off have made me very unwell so my GP and I agreed that I would stay on. It's one of the safest ones (along with Sertraline) for pregnancy and also safe for BF.

Hope you're ok. thanks

MirandaWest Wed 23-Mar-16 11:01:42

I took sertraline from 12 weeks pregnant with DD. Think I was on 100mg. I breastfed her for about 10 months or so. She's 10 now and I don't think my having been on ADs has affected her apart from in a positive way as I was in a pretty bad place before I started taking them.

Olishi Wed 23-Mar-16 11:47:19

Thank you everyone for your advice. I have been referred to a mental health team and am just waiting for my appointment. I shall probably speak to them about the possibility of medication. Unfortunately the old voice that used to tell me I was a failure and a burden seems to have come back and, even though I'm telling myself medication does not mean failure/putting myself before baby's health etc, the voice is louder at telling me if I take medication I've given up, my baby will be harmed by the medicine and it will be all my fault.

I know this isn't a rational thought. And by voice I don't mean an actual voice, just to be clear. I used to be able to shut this voice up and change how I think, it seems to be harder now.

Thank you for your kindness smile

GoingLoopyQuickly Fri 25-Mar-16 23:49:03

Although I have not previously suffered from medically recognised depression I can entirely relate to your experience while pregnant. I mentioned in my booking in appt that I felt like I was getting a little anxious about this and that and the mw suggested I speak to the doc. I didn't get round to it and managed to keep things at bay but by the time I got to my 16 week appt I explained to my midwife that I felt like i had a shadow following me in this pg. They then reassured me and referred me to the antenatal mh team. Before my appointment came through the shadow had caught up with me and I was struggling to cope with each day. So I made that call to the docs who signed me off work. I have had four weeks off and am heading back on a phased return from next week to see how I get on. But the whole time I have tried to avoid medication and when I explained my reasons to the doc (I don't feel I am "low" enough to warrant the risks related, I want to be able to work this out by tackling the route causes etc) he agreed.

My appointment with the mh team did eventually arrive for ages away (now only a week and a bit away) so I will unpack my emotion boxes (how I manage my feelings and emotions inside) when I speak to them.

It doesn't help that on the same day I have an appointment with a fetal medicine consultant to check something out from my anomoly scan and DP is having a procedure on his forehead on the same day. Plus nursery have chosen the next day to have an inset day! Although a friend has offered to look after ds on that babysitting while he doing daddy day care for his boy!

I also spoke to a friend about this who has just had a really tough year adjusting to life with newborn twins and a three year old. Not forgetting their house move. And she told me about mothersformothers. I will find the link and post it in a minute. She told me they have a phone line you can call for free and they can help with anxieties. She said they were amazing.

Waffle from me over. I suppose my point is you are thinking and doing the same things as me which is reassuring for me and I hope for you.

Good luck with it all and do what you need to for you and your baby.

Btw I am 22+2 with DC2 (a girl this time which apparently seems to be common with losing your mind)

GoingLoopyQuickly Fri 25-Mar-16 23:50:26

www.mothersformothers.co.uk/

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