Pregnant women always emphasize that a mother should be careful with medications, because they can affect her baby. How dangerous is depression during pregnancy? Can antidepressants be treated during pregnancy? These questions concern many women. I will try today to explain this topic in more detail.
Depressive disorders along with anxiety disorders are among the most common mental disorders. Depression can really reach everyone — it can affect an older person, a young person, or even a child. Depression during pregnancy is also possible.
Can I use antidepressants during pregnancy?
Treatment of depression is usually associated with the use of antidepressants. However, pregnant women try to avoid taking virtually any strong medication. Exceptions are only in the case when the symptoms of the disease become unbearable or threaten the health of the fetus in the womb. This is where the answer to the above question arises – yes, you can use antidepressants during pregnancy. Since depression during pregnancy may well provoke the occurrence of other diseases that may affect the baby.
Consequences of refusing antidepressants
Depression during pregnancy is a serious problem that certainly requires treatment. Refusal of therapy can lead to very serious consequences – then the risk of maintaining depressive disorders even after the birth of the child increases. This condition is very dangerous, because it can lead to the fact that the relationship between mother and child will develop incorrectly, in addition, it can lead to the fact that the mother is not able to properly take care of her child.
Depression, however, can affect the course of the pregnancy itself. Attention is drawn to the fact that with its high degree of severity and lack of treatment, the risk of premature birth increases. Depression often causes low birth weight babies.
What antidepressants can be used during pregnancy?
There is no doubt that treatment of depression in depression during pregnancy is necessary. However, there is another side to the coin – the danger of using antidepressants during pregnancy. None of the currently available antidepressants (according to the FDA) does not belong to group A, that is, to those whose use during pregnancy is absolutely safe.
In addition, there are reports that some of the most commonly used antidepressants may increase the risk of various birth defects in a child (this happens, especially when these drugs are taken in the first trimester of pregnancy).
What is the treatment of depression during pregnancy?
Depression during pregnancy should always be treated very individually. Otherwise, treatment of this problem occurs in a woman who suffered from depression before pregnancy, and quite differently in a situation where depressive disorders appear only during maternity leave.
In the first of these cases, the woman took antidepressants before becoming pregnant. In this situation, an accurate assessment of her mental state is required. Complete discontinuation of the antidepressant is not recommended (especially when the patient has not recovered from depressive symptoms). For this, it is possible to reduce the dose taken by the future mother, but such a decision is made only when the patient’s mental state takes such changes into account.
Sometimes a modification of therapy may consist in the replacement of a prescribed medication by a patient with another, which is characterized by a lower tendency to cause some disorders in the child. Here, however, it should be emphasized that modifications of antidepressant therapy last for some time. Depression during pregnancy implies a gradual process of adaptation. Previously used drug should be gradually ceased to use. A new drug is introduced gradually so that the young mother can get used to it without harming the child.
How to deal with depression during pregnancy?
On the other hand, depression treatment decisions are made when the problem only appears during pregnancy. Here, first of all, it is necessary to analyze whether a woman really needs pharmacological treatment. For then, when the depressive symptoms in it have a small intensity, at least initially attempts can be made to treat them on the basis of psychotherapy alone. However, if they do not succeed or the symptoms of depression in a pregnant woman worsen significantly, they usually start treatment with antidepressants.
One aspect should be emphasized. There is no one concrete way to deal with depression during pregnancy. The plan for treating patients in a blessed state must be determined very individually. However, it is always necessary to inform the gynecologist, who monitors pregnancy, that antidepressants are used. Their use can lead to child deprivation syndrome. Its manifestations may include anxiety in the newborn or difficulties with feeding. These problems usually disappear rather quickly; medical personnel dealing with the young mother and her newborn child should be aware of the possibility of their appearance.