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Q&A: I've been diagnosed with depression. What should I know before I get pregnant?

I've been diagnosed with clinical depression. Is there anything I need to know before I get pregnant?

Re: I've been diagnosed with clinical depression. Is there anything I need to know before I get pregnant?

The Bump Expert

Your first step is to talk with your doctor about your treatment options. If medication is being suggested, as opposed to or in addition to regular therapy, then you need to know what the safest options are, as well as the possible side effects. The risks of antidepressants during pregnancy have been a hot topic for years and few medications have been proven safe without a doubt during pregnancy. However, the risks of leaving your depression untreated have to be considered, too.

The particular kind of antidepressant your doc prescribes is also another factor, since some can cause more harm to your fetus than others. Depending on your particular case, your doctor may recommend lowering your dosage, switching to new meds, or stopping meds entirely.

Colleen Canney

Q&A: I've been diagnosed with depression. What should I know before I get pregnant?

My therapist diagnosed me with manic depressive disorder, also known as bipolar depressive disorder and my psychiatrist prescribed me with prozac. My baby doctor told me that it is better for me to take my medication, with the very unlikely side effects that it CAN cause for the baby (but most likely will not), than it is to suffer with depression. Your baby can feel your emotions and if your depression is bad enough to require medication it can be more dangerous for you to forgo medication.

AmberLynneB |

Q&A: I've been diagnosed with depression. What should I know before I get pregnant?

same hiere - bipolar type II, PTSD, anxiety and depression. pregnancy is hard enough with severe sickness & chronic pain, but adding mental turmoil to it is just asking for trouble. it's much, much better to to find a good regime that keeps the brain chemistry balanced and start/continue with therapy to help cope with the changes assoicated with pregnancy. even with an excellent support network, i found pregnancy very difficult and still find depression & detachment to be an issue. i just know, however, that if i'd tried to go it alone (no support, meds or therapy), i'd be in a much, much worse state.

Tusia |

Q&A: I've been diagnosed with depression. What should I know before I get pregnant?

I'm in the same boat, PTSD, schitzoaffective disorder, blah blah blah. I've handled it without medication for years, only therapy and a strict schedule of meditation and exercise. I am EXTERMEMLY against doping myself up with whatever drug cocktail the doc can dream up, so I sure as hell am not going to do that to my baby. It's just been a matter of being extra vigilant when tracking moods, heading off an "episode" before it starts, and basically being very in touch with my emotions before they get out of hand. I know it's not the easiest, or most popular way of dealing, but I feel it's best in the long run.

Screamertree |

Q&A: I've been diagnosed with depression. What should I know before I get pregnant?

I'm bipolar and have been stable for several years on medication. For my husband and I it was more important that I be stable and happy during m pregnancy than deal with the risks of a major depressive or manic episode. My doctor and I looked at the medications I was on before we tried to conceive. I went off my anti-anxiety medication because it causes birth defects and stayed on my mood stabilizer. It is really difficult to know that your medication could possibly harm your child, but we did the research and choose medications that were considered the safest. The hardest part is trying to explain it to people and having them insist that you're making the wrong decision or assuming that you haven't taken the time and effort to look into every available option. I am unable to breastfeed because my medication would be secreted into my breast milk. I have dealt with a lot people telling me I should switch meds or go off meds in order to breastfeed. I try to gently remind them that I cannot care for my newborn if I need to be hospitalized. They assume because I'm so level now that my bipolar couldn't possibly be that bad. My biggest fear is PPD. Women with depression and other mental illnesses have an increased incidence of PPD and PPA. I have several plans in place to help me cope if I find myself struggling. I have also set up a support system of people I can call at a moments notice if I need to. I feel better knowing I am prepared.

Cydeara |