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  1. #1
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    Default Experiences with antidepressants during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

    Hi all,
    I have a history of major depression/anxiety but I chose to go off my antidepressants 2 months before falling pregnant (in consultation with my doctor). I'm now 18 weeks pregnant and feel like I may be slipping back into depression… the old signs and symptoms are developing. So I'm considering going back on antidepressants but am taking the decision very seriously as I'm worried about potential pharmacological side effects on the baby.
    Would really appreciate hearing from other mums who have personal experience with being on antidepressants during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, e.g. were there any negative impacts, short-term or long-term, on the baby that you know of? I'm aware that SSRIs (excluding the SSRI paroxetine/Paxil) are generally considered ‘safe’ in pregnancy and breastfeeding, but the research is still somewhat limited and is not definitive, so I’m worried about committing to medication.
    In saying this, I’m struggling with being productive at work, and crying more and more, not sleeping that well, and finding life extra hard; all things that have happened when I’ve relapsed in the past.
    Thanks, R

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    Hi! I have a history of anxiety and depression and same as you, went off my meds before falling pregnant (with drs advice). My first pregnancy (which I unfortunately lost at 20 weeks) I had horrible antenatal depression which apparently is quite common when you have a history of depression, especially during the first trimester when your hormones are going crazy and the placenta hadn't taken over yet. I went to therapy during that time (found an awesome therapist that specialist in antenatal/postnatal depression) and was able to stay off antidepressants until my son was 6 months old (so after my second pregnancy), but my anxiety was horrible. I took Zoloft while breastfeeding him and stayed on it until trying to get pregnant again, then back on when my second son (third pregnancy) was about 9 weeks old as my anxiety was just extreme and I wasn't coping. Ds2 is now 9 months, in still taking the Zoloft and still breastfeeding and both boys are totally fine. It's hard to take the leap and trust they will be ok, but they are.

    Have you tried therapy? Maybe try that first to see if it takes the edge of enough? Where are you located, I can PM you the details of the therapist I found amazingly helpful if you are in Melbourne.

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to HollyGolightly81 For This Useful Post:

    golittlerabbit  (06-03-2017),rosewater  (03-03-2017)

  4. #3
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    Thanks for your reply HollyGolightly. Really helpful to hear someone else's experiences. Congrats on your 2 wee boys I'm based in Perth and I've been seeing a good psychologist here as part of a mental health plan (subsidised) for the past few years. I've been mostly keeping up with my usual gymming/exercising too which seems to be an integral part of managing my depression/anxiety. Even so, I think I may need to consider medication. Will give it a couple more weeks to think about it...

    Thanks again x

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    Subbing to come back later for a proper response.

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    I have anxiety and if not on meds I am sick constantly.. I didn't come off meds when ttc or pregnant. My doc switched me to cipramil and was on 20mg so doc said it was fine and better for baby to be on it than to be off it and be a mess.. apparently depression affects the baby too so my doc said better to be on the drugs .
    My dose was small though.

    I also stayed on while breast feeding.. I haven't noticed any side effects on baby at all.. it can affect milk supply though but mine is always low anyway so I don't know if the pills made it worse.

    I wouldn't hesitate to stay on them for next pregnancy too.. worked for me keeping me well.

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    I started on sertraline when my DS was 9 months old. Dr said they may make him more wakeful/active, but didn't seem to make a difference. Realistically, I should have started them earlier, but said I would see how I went. I took them for about a year, and weaned off before TTC (was and still am BFing DS). The first few days he was a bit grumpy - don't blame him I felt lousy too, but coming off them was easier for him than me. Fell pregnant pretty much straight away. Anxiety kicked in hard, but managed to get through. Currently have a script to start again - supposed to be preventative to stop me from getting to where I was with PND last time. Have already got the anxiety and have been really teary on a number of days, so I should start taking them. I also have a referral to a psychologist and a psychiatrist, so I am kind of feeling like I want to try that before starting on the meds because the side effects hit me hard!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kim85 View Post
    I have anxiety and if not on meds I am sick constantly.. I didn't come off meds when ttc or pregnant. My doc switched me to cipramil and was on 20mg so doc said it was fine and better for baby to be on it than to be off it and be a mess.. apparently depression affects the baby too so my doc said better to be on the drugs .
    My dose was small though.

    I also stayed on while breast feeding.. I haven't noticed any side effects on baby at all.. it can affect milk supply though but mine is always low anyway so I don't know if the pills made it worse.

    I wouldn't hesitate to stay on them for next pregnancy too.. worked for me keeping me well.
    I'm on cipramil too, same dosage-20mg, plus seroquel 25mg at night. I've been on these for years prior to getting pregnant, & stayed on them for 2 pregnancies & now currently pregnant with my third. In consultation with my psychiatrist, she weighed up the benefits for me to stay on them & also the risks to baby. There was a third med I was taking prior to having kids which she said would have to go due to risks to foetus, & I haven't really needed to go back on that one. I would definitely speak to a psychiatrist if you can, perhaps one that has had experience in maternal care as well?

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    Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply - very reassurring and I really appreciate it.

    I'm going to make an appointment with my GP to discuss potential options and will ask for a referral to a psychiatrist with maternal care experience to be on the safe side. Will let you know how it all goes. Rx

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    Just an update - my Ob has referred me to a specialist maternity psychiatrist, and I'm booked in to see them this coming Tuesday. Am feeling a bit better just having made the appointment.
    As an aside, I shouted myself some new proper biking shoes and tights for spinning/RPM class - a nice wee treat to keep myself exercising. Tried them out last night and they made a huge difference to my technique and comfort. Win

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    Great news about referral! & treats are great too, I bought some running shoes (for walking though!) & they have made a huge difference to my pregnancy waddle & back pain! Good luck with the appointment sounds like you're on the right track!

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