Antidepressants and pregnancy

There are many types of depressive disorders. They arise in different periods of people’s lives and are treated by means of various antidepressants. Pregnancy is a period in a woman’s life during which various mood disorders may arise, and doctors may recommend or not recommend to use psychotropic drugs.

Use of antidepressants during pregnancy may have both certain risks and benefits. However, without proper treatment of mental disorders, depression episodes can be repeated more often and last longer. This should be taken into account before using a medication.

During pregnancy, women may experience different sensations from mild anxiety to severe depression, especially if this is the first child or if there were problems during previous births. Such states may provoke the appearance of certain problems, such as:

  • risk of premature birth;
  • slowing of fetal growth;
  • low birth weight.

During pregnancy, depression therapy is of important significance, since the lack of adequate treatment of a mental disorder in the future mother may adversely affect the fetus development. Depression should be stopped; otherwise, the mental disorder can progress.

If not to treat prenatal depression with antidepressants during pregnancy, this can trigger the occurrence of postpartum depression. The mental disorder in the woman after childbirth is often the cause of early breastfeeding termination.

Many mothers prefer breastfeeding, which improves the child’s cognitive development and strengthens his immunity, so the baby’s body is easier to resist many diseases, such as:

  • asthma;
  • type 1 diabetes;
  • food allergy;
  • infectious diseases of the respiratory tract;
  • leukemia.

Mainly, doctors try to avoid the antidepressants prescription for pregnant women, but depression is a serious disease that needs to be treated. There are no psychotropic drugs that would suit every patient and therefore it is recommended to base the choice on the balance between possible problems and potential benefits.

The main risks of using antibacterial agents are possible serious congenital malformations of the child. Because of using antidepressants during pregnancy, mental illness can be diagnosed in the child after a certain time.

First women are afraid that their child may have birth defects or other problems when using antidepressants during pregnancy. Studies show that negative consequences in the child are extremely rare after using psychotropic drugs.

The lowest possible dose of a drug is usually prescribed for the depression treatment with antidepressant agents, especially during the first three months of pregnancy. The proper dose of medication helps alleviate the depression symptoms and minimize the impact of depression medicines on the baby.

Mostly, future mothers try to learn more about the existing drugs and their effect on the fetus before using any medicines. Before to buy antidepressants at pharmacy, women want to know which drugs are the safest for their child.

  • Studies show that the use of many depression medicines of a class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is not associated with congenital defects in the child.

It should be noted that some drugs for the treatment of depressive disorder could be safe, while others may have a higher risk of complications for the fetal development. It is usually not recommended to use Paxil during pregnancy, since studies show that this drug may contribute to congenital heart anomalies in the fetus.

The final opinion about whether there is a link between the antidepressants use during pregnancy and autism is not yet available. A lot of researches have been conducted to find out whether depression medicines affect the autism development in children and the results have often been contradictory.

Adequate studies of how Lexapro use can affect the unborn child have not been carried out. Therefore, Lexapro should be used just as other medications to treat depression, only in case if the drug therapy is urgently needed.

When the woman uses an antidepressant in the last trimester of pregnancy, she should know that the child might have withdrawal symptoms. The child may have a poor appetite; he can often be irritable during the day. Such condition can persist in the child within the first month after the birth.