Advertising
Advertising

Antidepressants And Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Antidepressants And Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

There will seldom be a time that you are more hyper aware of what is going into your body than when you are pregnant. This will include everything from lunch meats to cookie dough to hot dogs to the prescription drugs that you have been taking to get by.

In this article, we will address your concerns about antidepressants and pregnancy. As with everything related to health that you read on the internet, check with your doctor before making decisions.

Will Depression Go Away During Pregnancy?

Unfortunately, this will not be the case. In fact, with the hormonal changes in a mother’s body, she may find things ramp up in that department. Treating depression during this time is essential. The concern with stopping antidepressants during pregnancy is that the mother may start using other behaviors to cope with destructive thoughts. The behaviors can be as innocent as not eating healthy to as terrible as smoking. Depending on the mother’s choice of coping mechanism, there could be consequences for the baby’s health.

Advertising

Additionally, if the mother is not treating the depression during the pregnancy, there is a serious risk of postpartum depression after giving birth. In some cases, a mother can have a difficult time bonding with their baby because of the range of emotions that are being experienced. To be clear, every mother will have a range of emotions during pregnancy and after birth. Some sad days, and some happy. However, if previous to pregnancy a woman had exhibited enough characteristics to require antidepressants for treatment, these “normal” emotions can quickly snowball into some serious problems.

Are Antidepressants An Option During Pregnancy?

Yes. Yes! I will shout it from the rooftops.

The best bet is to meet with the doctor to do a risks vs. benefits analysis in regards to continuing your medications. From the information I have seen, the risk of birth defects and other problems for mother and baby are very low. Can I tell you that without a doubt you and your baby will be fine? No. Could I tell you that even if you weren’t on antidepressants? No.

Advertising

Are All Antidepressants Considered The Same In Pregnancy?

Nope. There are some medications that are safer to take during pregnancy than others. Studies have shown that some have more risk for the babies, so again it’s important to discuss with a doctor.

What Kinds Of Antidepressants Are There And How Safe Are They?

They are generally broken into 4 categories for pregnant women:

  • Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — Generally considered safe for pregnancy (will include Zoloft, Prozac, and Celexa).
  • Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) — Also considered safe for pregnancy (will include Cymbalta and Effexor XR).
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin) — This can be safe, but it’s not the typical first choice during pregnancy. If other medications are not working for the patient, this can be an option to try.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants — These also are not the typical first choice during pregnancy. They can be effective if the other choices have not been effective for the woman (will include Pamelor).

What Are The Possible Complications?

Based on research, use of citalopram, fluoxetine, and sertraline can create a serious newborn lung problem (persistent pulmonary hypertension) when taken during the last half of pregnancy. Some other rare birth defects have been suggested, but studies were inconclusive.

Advertising

The overall risk is very, very low.

Which Antidepressants Should Be Avoided?

Studies with Paxil show it may correspond with a small increase in heart defects.

Additionally, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) (Nardil and Parnate) are generally discouraged during pregnancy. MAOIs might limit fetal growth.

Advertising

Will The Baby Have Withdrawals?

Tapering dosages at the end of pregnancy could help to curb any side effects the baby could have after birth. Talk to your doctor before doing any tapering because this will also affect your mood and ability to handle the postpartum period.

If I Stop Taking My Antidepressants, What Will Happen?

Physically, you can have chills, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, and nausea/vomiting. Mentally, obviously any of the things that caused you to go on the medication will still be there.

A Final Word

Only the mother and doctor can know the right course of action. It is worth doing a risks and benefits analysis to see where things end up. At every point in the process, please make sure the communication is constant with the doctor. Trying to go without does not mean a mother can not reevaluate feelings as the pregnancy progresses.

For more information please visit this link.

More by this author

7 Signs That You’re Making Your Children Narcissistic Real Story: She Turned Paper Into The Most Magical Gift For A Child Lemon Juice With Salt Can Stop Migraine Headache Within Minutes Amazing Benefits Of Olive Oil You Need To Know Meal Planning Challenge: Healthy Grocery Shopping Once A Month

Trending in Parenting

1 How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father 2 14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All 3 Signs of Postnatal Depression And What to Do When It Strikes 4 How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids) 5 The Leading Causes of Prenatal Depression and How to Manage it Best

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

Advertising

The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

Advertising

As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

Advertising

I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

Advertising

The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next