Q&A: Is it safe to use antidepressants during pregnancy?
Is it safe to use of anti-depressants during pregnancy?
There’s a big difference between feeling a little blue and depression. Certainly pregnancy is a new type of stress in your life that requires getting used to. Self-body image is affected with its psychodynamics, feeling any one of an assortment of normal pregnancy miseries, and maybe even lack of emotional support from the people closest to you can give you reasonable cause to be bummed out. But depression is an unreasonable reaction to the things in your life and is considered pathology. True, there is sometimes a fine line between feeling down and being depressed, and it can also happen that one more event or stressor can make you cross that line.
It’s up to your doctor to tell whether you should be treated for depression or not. Tell your doctor how you feel and then he or she can determine whether the risk of antidepressants outweigh the benefit.
Some important points to consider:
- Although any medicine can do anything to anybody (including the fetus), still, many antidepressants have an excellent safety record in the second and third trimesters, so in weighing risk versus benefit, the risk is not a major factor if you need treatment.
- Depression is a very serious disease. It is a major cause of death in this country when you consider how many people commit suicide. If your feelings are unreasonable, then your doctor should pay careful attention to this. Now I’m not saying you’re necessarily going to flip out and do yourself in, but there’s no need to suffer unreasonably due to unreasonable depression. Your doctor would certainly give you antibiotics to treat a serious infection, and just because the pain is all in your head doesn’t make it any less real.
I’m proud to say that besides psychiatrists, OB-GYNs are the least likely doctors to blow you off on this, so make sure you make your feelings clear to your doctor.