Postpartum Depression

Has anyone taken antidepressants while pregnant? And a vent.

Since my third trimester with DS I have been horribly depressed. I never wanted to take antidepressants because I was afraid of the effect they would have on DS while I was pregnant/nursing him. Now I am still nursing and pregnant with LO #2 and I just can't do this anymore. I just broke down crying the other day and kept saying "I just want my old life back, I hate this, I can't do this anymore" I have tried SO hard to be the best mom to DS but now I am realizing that I haven't been at all. I have no energy,I get frustrated with him easily and yell at him. Sometimes I want to just leave him or shake him, but I ALWAYS put him in his packnplay where he can't hurt himself and walk away before it gets to that point. I have NEVER physically harmed him. I almost never take him outside or do anything fun with him because I just can't. It's not in me to do this. Before I got pregnant I was always on the move or busy with something. I'm just not me anymore. I feel like I have no identity.

 I am miserable. Even though there are other issues in my marriage,one of the biggest problems is that I am always so sad and never want to leave the house. It's weighing on my relationship with DH. I'm sad about everything. I don't know how I will be able to bond with this baby if I couldn't even bond with DS until he was 2.5 months old. I don't know if I will even make it to the end of the summer. I'm just so sad. I don't even feel like a person anymore. I feel like I'm just going to dissapear.

I had to go to my midwife's office to get some labs done and fill out some paperwork before my first appointment and they give you a sheet that you can fill out about depression. I just totally came clean and awnsered honestly. I don't know what my midwife will suggest after we talk,but if she suggests antidepressants, I just might go for it. I feel like it will be best for my DS, DH and future baby if I am happy for once and have the energy and desire to take care of my family. But I am also afraid of the risks involved and if my mom finds out, she will never let me hear the end of it. My mom is really against antidepressants and will constantly tell me that my baby will have a tail or something if I take them while pregnant.

So does anyone have experience taking antidepressants while pregnant? Can you share your experiences please?

If you got to the end of this post, thank you. I just needed to get all of this out. All of my friends pretty much vanished after I got pregnant and the ones who didn't vanish ended up leaving because I didn't make an effort to keep up with our friendships after I got so depressed. So I really have no one to talk to about this.





Re: Has anyone taken antidepressants while pregnant? And a vent.

  • RedDDDRedDDD
    250 Answers 1000 Comments 250 Love Its Third Anniversary
    You're not alone.  I have been having a lot of the same feelings and didn't want to go on anti depressants because of the effects I read about.  I'll be watching this thread because I'm wondering at what point do the benefits out weigh the risks.  Hang in there
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  • You need to take something. There are meds that have been studied and show they won't harm your baby. With my second pregnancy I took buspar for anxiety from begining to end and my son was born perfectly healthy. Now pregnant with my third I have tried to avoid meds but my energy is at zero as well as my patience so my other two boys always see me angry and upset. I have decided to start on zoloft as my ob suggested to prevent a crisis after labor. There is no need to feel like you or I feel. Just take your pill and enjoy life and your kids. my ob asked if I plan to breastfeed and I said no cause it makes my anxiety and depression go threw the roof so immediatly she said it was better not to, and my boys are very healthy they hardly ever get sick so I don't worry about not breastfeeding. I'm 31 weeks and also due at the end of the summer :/
  • Medications are going to help with how you are feeling sorry you feel this way
  • I have been on prozac since 16. I was able to manage my symptoms and stopped taking it just before I got pregnant with my son. A little over half way into my pregnancy I started having severe depression with thoughts of self-harm (something I struggled with in the past). I spoke to my doctor about it and she put me back on my prozac. She told me there was a slight risk of seretonin dependence in the baby, but the fact that I was planning on breastfeeding was actually good, because it meant that baby would be weaned of the medication gradually as he was slowly weaned off the milk. I took the prozac for the 2nd half of my first pregnancy, the whole time I was breastfeeding and through the entirety of my 2nd pregnancy. We even increased the dose while I was breastfeeding my son because of some PPD issues. I am now breastfeeding my 5 month old girl and have recently switched to zoloft because of some anxiety issues I'm having. I have noticed no ill effects in either child and I am doing much better. 

    It can be scary to consider taking medication because of breastfeeding and pregnancy, but please remember that the absolute best thing for your baby is a happy, healthy mother. Do whatever it takes for that to happen.


    Best of luck! 

    Eleanor- 1.5 Years (Jan 2013)
    Nathan- 3.5 Years (April 2011)
  • I took lexapro through my 2nd pregnancy. Baby and I are doing great!

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  • I need to tell you my story. I want you to know that your feelings are normal, the stress on your marriage is normal, and that you are going to make it. 

    In 2007, I was a first-year law student. Now that I have been diagnosed with depression I can tell you that I have probably had it since high school. At the time my first finals were approaching, and I had a nervous break down. IT felt just like what you described. I didn't want to leave the house. I was so sad that it physically hurt. I got a therapist who sent me to the doctor. The family practice doctor was no help. She had me take xanex and zoloft. They didn't work, but she had me take more. Later that year I saw a psychiatrist, who got me on the right medicine.

    I accidentally got pregnant with DD1 right before my third year of law school. I was happily married, wanted kids eventaually, and not into elective abortion if my life isn't in danger, so I had no choice but to have the baby. I was taking 60 MG of Celexa once a day. I knew better than to quit because I tend to want to hurt myself when I am not on meds. I took 40 MG of celexa the entire pregnancy. DD1 was born at 37 weeks 5 days with respiratory distress. After five days she came home. She is now a perfectly healthy developmentally on track toddler.

    When DD1 was 5 months old I took the bar exam. It was really stressful. I didn't find a job after graduation. I studied for the bar exam with a baby on my lap, and the bar association would not let me take the test in a room bymyself. I have ADHD and anxiety as well. I held it together until after the test. Then I had nervous breakdown number 2.

    I felt just like you feel now. I didn't go anywhere. I didn't get out of bed. I cried all the time. DH was doing the best he could, but he was starting to wear down.  I knew that I needed to get  to the Dr.

    I started taking a cocktail of 40 mg celexa plus a mood stabilizer called Lomictal, and Seroquel. It woIrks wonderfully.

     This pregnancy was planned. I asked my PCP what I needed to do to get ready for this baby. He sent me to a neonatologist. The neonatologist looked  over my meds and told me they were fine. They are Class C's, which means they do have a small chance of birth defects. However, if I don't take the drugs I will kill myself and DD1 will have no mother. Before I got pregnant, I did go to the Psychiatrist to try to switch to some safer meds. It was awful. My meds worked so well, that I decided not to change.

    A lady at work told me that I could always adopt. That hurt my feelings. I asked the baby specialist at the hospital if I shouldn?t have kids. He said that was stupid.

    So far, I am 36 weeks 3 days with DD2. I have had two ultrasounds to look at her heart and her palette. Nothing has shown up wrong. I am incredibly worried about the baby, but the chances of a defect are still something like 3 in 10,000 births. I am delivering at a hospital with a level three NICU just in case. The pediatrician is aware of my medications, and DD2 will get tested when she is born, but she should be fine. 

    I feel good knowing that the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression in pregnancy are much much worse for a fetus that the effects of my drugs. I also take comfort in the fact that DD1 needs a mommy who will take care of her. She gets better care when mommy is functioning. I also think that if I kill myself she will be really, really screwed up.

    The doctor had to teach DH how to deal with me, but he is wonderful and getting better. He has to be patient and help out at home more than he would like, but I work, so I don?t feel bad making him pick up the slack.

    I didn?t nurse DD1 and I won?t nurse DD2 because I don?t want to change my meds. Also, nursing leads to depression because you feel gross, and tethered all the time. I also know that I do not do well on little sleep. DH and I split the night. He would be up playing games until midnight anyway, so he takes the baby till midnight, and I take the night from then on.

    I hope this helps. You will probably need to take something, but there are safe (class B) drugs that will help. Also, you can take B6 and Magnesium to help with mood. They also help with pregnancy. Calcium and magnesium help with back and ligament pain. Also, take extra folic acid, It helps lower the risk of birth defects possibly caused by the drugs.


    Good luck.

  • I've been on antidepressants for the past 15 years. I took Zoloft throughout my pregnancy, and my baby girl is just fine! There is a good amount of research that says SSRIs, especially Prozac and Zoloft, are safe during pregnancy. I know Zoloft is safe while breastfeeding. I currently take Cymbalta, and the lactation consultant and pediatrician both told me it's safe to take while nursing. Good luck and hope you feel better very soon!
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  • Bensmom, I'm very sorry you're feeling this way. Many people take antidepressants while pregnant. You need help. This is no way to live. Please talk to your doctor and seek a counselor asap. I hope it gets better soon.



  • I saw my midwife the other day and she gave me the name of a therapist and said that if I need it, we will do antidepressants but she wants me to hold off until I'm out of the first trimester. I feel a little more optimistic knowing that I can see someone and that antidepressants are an option.

    Thank you for sharing your stories, everyone.





  • I am still pregnant but I have been taking Cipralex (20mg) since before getting pregnant, and throughout this pregnancy. It's a risk vs benefit thing. It is of much more benefit that I take these drugs instead of being depressed through the pregnancy.
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  • mamaj77mamaj77
    First Comment
    edited July 2013
    I was taking 20mg of Prozac for anxiety/depression before pregnancy and weaned off three months before I got pregnant. During the first trimester I seemed to manage ok without, but once the second hit, I was a complete mess (anxious and depressed, no longer wanting my baby...which scared the heck out of me). I was VERY hesitant to go on the meds during pregnancy due to potential side effects on baby. I had a long talk with my OB and she told me that Prozac and Zoloft are frequently used during pregnancy and she felt 100% confident it would not impact my baby at the lower to average doses, especially since I was through the first trimester (everything is formed at that point). She said Prozac has been around a long time and is well-studied. She said to me..."you deserve to enjoy your baby and the benefits outweigh any risks!" I went back on 10mg at that point and began to feel SO much better. After about 6 weeks though I felt like I was regressing and my OB bumped me up to 20mg again (average dose). It seriously changed my life and allowed me to get through the rest of my pregnancy feeling excited for my baby's arrival. Immediately after my daughter was born I felt a huge change (hormones!) and the symptoms came back. It was horrible. I contacted my OB again and went up to 30mg of Prozac. My daughter is 6 mos now and I'm still taking 30mg. It has saved me. I truly believe I'm a better mother because of it! Motherhood is still the toughest job ever, but I'm able to cope so much better. My daughter is completely happy and healthy.
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