Antidepressants With Pregnancy
Updated: Apr 18, 2020
(This is a picture of me around Christmas time craving little weanies & also the time I was in the process of weaning off one of my medications!)
One of the first questions I asked my doctors, when I found out I was pregnant, is if any of the medications that I'm on are dangerous during pregnancy. I knew that not every medication was safe while pregnant and also while breastfeeding. I was told I had to wean off one of my medications immediately, which was to treat depression. My doctor gave me a schedule of how to safely wean off of it within two weeks. My other medication, to treat anxiety, is considered safe so I continued taking it.
I was a little nervous to be weaning off of a medication I had been taking for two years. Just because I didn’t know if it would affect my mental health. After weaning off of it, I was emotional. I don’t think because I weaned off of it, but because of pregnancy hormones! So it’s kind of hard to determine if it did affect my mental health because I was also at the beginning of dealing with pregnancy hormones. My mental health is pretty stable now, so I think I'm doing okay without it!
Prior to pregnancy, my therapist and I played with the idea of weaning off of both of my medications. We both believed that I may no longer need them. Since I had successfully weaned off of my first medication, I thought maybe I could wean off of my other one as well, which is commonly used to treat anxiety. This was about a month after I was weaned off of my other medication. Even though my antideressant for anxiety is safe to take, I was curious to see if I needed to stay on it. So I talked with my doctor and she gave me a schedule and lower prescription to wean off within a two week window. I was about halfway through weaning off before I started to notice my emotions and anxiety going CRAZY! I was also dealing with some drama in my life at the time which did not help at all as well. Instead of weaning off of it, my doctor and I decided to go back to my regular dosage. Again it’s hard to tell if my crazy emotions and anxiety were from my pregnancy hormones, outside drama, my body needing the medicine, or all of the above!
I did feel a little defeated having to go back to my normal dosage. I definitely had a few negative self-talk thoughts for sure, such as being a failure. However, I got over it because I know that my emotions can affect the baby. The thought of knowing this, helped myself get out of that loop of negative thoughts I was starting to have. It‘s okay that my body still needs an antidepressant for my anxiety, as long that it’s considered safe during pregnancy. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It just means that antidepressant is one of my tools along with therapy, self-care, breathing techniques, etc. to keep my mental health (somewhat) stable.
I’m not sure if there is a stigma with taking anti-depressants while pregnant, but I’m sure there’s some people out there against it or not sure about it. When it comes to pregnancy and parenting, I feel like there’s a lot of judgment. I wrote this post because I don’t want someone out there feeling bad for taking medication (that is considered safe by your doctor) while pregnant. Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean your mental health is belittled. Talk to your doctor about it. They can help you wean off of it and maybe possibly find you a replacement medication that is safe to take.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so please talk to your doctor about your own medication! You could be taking the same medication as me, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same dosage or situation!