Are you pregnant and struggling with depression? If so, you are not alone. Did you know that as many as one in five of all pregnant women is depressed? Whether you were depressed before getting pregnant, or suffering from prenatal depression, it is no surprise if you feel like you really do need antidepressants, like Zoloft or Prozac. What do you need to know about taking antidepressants when you are expecting a baby?
Depression is a serious condition that can have very serious consequences, including during pregnancy. If you are depressed, thinking about trying to get pregnant, and already receiving treatment, you may prepare for your pregnancy better by making an action plan with your healthcare team. If depression crept up on you suddenly while you were already expecting a baby, the situation may require more urgency. In either case, there are several elements that can contribute to successful treatment, such as:
- Support groups for depression
- A good support network partner, family and friends, for instance
Medication is not the only effective treatment option for depression, and other treatment options should certainly pursued first during pregnancy. Sometimes, therapy and support alone are enough to get you through your pregnancy feeling relatively good. But if you still feel depressed, you should remember that there are risks and benefits when it comes to using antidepressant medications during pregnancy.
All these should be weighed carefully by you and your healthcare providers before making a decision. If you and your doctor do conclude that your depression is severe enough for you to need medication, there may be some changes to your meds after becoming pregnant. Some medications are a better match than others during pregnancy, and your dosage may be different as well. If you are on antidepressants and then find out that you are expecting, don't immediately self-initiate quitting medication sometimes, coming off drugs suddenly is a bad idea, especially in combination with pregnancy. Instead, inform your doctor before taking any action.