It can be a hard decision, deciding whether you should use anti-depressants while you are pregnant. Depression, when you are pregnant, can cause serious harmful effects to both the mother and the baby. Taking anti-depressants, however, may increase the chances of the baby developing health risks as a result of the medication. Your doctor should be able to advise best. However, with an influx of people needing SSRI birth defect lawyers, due to an increase in cases, women may be more nervous than ever about taking medication while pregnant.
Depression is common, it affects around 6% of women and that number rises to 10% while pregnant. The inrush of hormones and the knowledge that your life is about to dramatically change can be challenging. Symptoms include changes in appetite, changes in sleep, feeling sad or worthless, lack of energy, unexplainable crying, and loss of interest in things you once enjoyed.
Depression during pregnancy can seriously affect the health of your baby. It can lead to miscarriage, giving birth before the due date or a small baby. It also slightly increases your child’s risk of developing mental health problems later in life. It can also increase your risk of postpartum depression, which affects around 13% of women. This can result in you struggling to bond with your baby and make you feel anxious and depressed.
Therefore, if a pregnant woman is depressed, they must receive the help they need. This should include a range of treatments including counseling and talking therapy. Other things that should be considered are healthy eating and exercise, and some kind of mindfulness activity such as meditation or pregnancy yoga. Joining a group such as pregnancy yoga is great because you will also meet other moms and get the opportunity to share your experiences.
Once all those things have been put in place if you are still struggling, or if you feel unable to face any of those things because you are too depressed, then medication can be taken. The pros and cons of this can be weighed up with your doctor. While there can be a risk of birth defects with some antidepressants, the risk is low. The risks are miscarriage, heart defects, early birth, and other birth defects. Furthermore, when the baby is born, they may have withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, breathing problems, low blood sugar, and trouble feeding.
If you suffer from depression and are considering trying to get pregnant then you should make appropriate lifestyle changes first to try and minimize your stress and anxiety. Spend more time outside, talk with a therapist, practice mindfulness and eat well. That being said, if you suffer from severe recurrent depression or have a long history of mental illness then it might be better to stay on medication.
In conclusion, anti-depressants do carry a small risk to pregnant women but being depressed while pregnant also carries a risk. Every mother and baby is different and a decision should be made with the help of your doctor. Women should not feel guilty about taking anti-depressants if they need them and they should do what is best for both mother and baby.
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