Depression and Pregnancy

Starkiller87 Starkiller87
I always see these commercials about law suits from women who decided to take meds while pregnant and now their child has something wrong with them. Being someone who was diagnosed as bipolar and anxiety I was wonder as I get closer to the Pregnancy age two things, a question about meds. And if you ever felt guilty about the possibility of passing your mental afflictions down to your child through genetics.
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
I took meds while I was pregnant
P'Gell , shySEXXaddict , Gone (LD29) , ICEE
4
I didnt take meds while I was pregnant
Peggi , zracer , froggiemoma , emilia , Bignuf
5
I was worried I would pass down my depression through genetics
Peggi , shySEXXaddict
2
I was not worried because there is always a chance they wouldnt get the gene
Other
CoffeeCup , P'Gell , zeb , sweetpea12
4
Total votes: 15 (12 voters)
Poll is closed
09/08/2011
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Starkiller87 Starkiller87
My father blames himself for my extreme depression and anxiety problems because he has them as well. They run in both sides of my family and I would never blame him, so it got me thinking about this.
09/08/2011
Antipova Antipova
Good question, I'm interested to hear the results.

I don't know anything about depression/anxiety/bip olar meds being taken during pregnancy, but I do know that my mom had shingles while she was carrying me. She and her doctor decided that she should not take the pain meds and steroids which were typically recommended (I don't know if antivirals were available back then), because they didn't want to harm the fetus/me. She spent several weeks not able to do much (unheard-of for my mother, and very hard on her). But I was delivered free of complications, and I don't know if that would have been the case had she taken steroids.

I don't know, though. You wouldn't want to stop taking meds and risk debilitating mental strife for the nine months, but you also wouldn't want to take them and risk changes in your child's development.

Good question.
09/08/2011
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
Good question, I'm interested to hear the results.

I don't know anything about depression/anxiety/bip olar meds being taken during pregnancy, but I do know that my mom had shingles while she was carrying me. She and her doctor decided ... More
Exactly. My father and I had this conversation last time I was home when one of these commercials came on. He told me when I was ready to have a baby he thinks, I should try and find ways around taking meds. Like daily yoga or something.

Im just curious as to what everyone else had to say. Its a very complicated situation.
09/08/2011
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by Starkiller87
Exactly. My father and I had this conversation last time I was home when one of these commercials came on. He told me when I was ready to have a baby he thinks, I should try and find ways around taking meds. Like daily yoga or something.

Im ... More
If it was me, I would probably do a trial-run of three months or so doing yoga (or whatever technique you think will work best) before actually getting pregnant, so you can know how you'll manage it, and can go back to meds without consequence if it proves to be too much.

I hope P'Gell sees this and has some thoughts to share tomorrow morning.
09/08/2011
Peggi Peggi
I will share something extremely personal with you to justify my response to this post...

I am adopted, but when my birthmom was pregnant with me, she did drugs. They were not the same as medications but have the same affect on a fetus. She also drank alcohol, pot upon pot of coffee per day, didn't take vitamins, didn't eat right, and smoked.

I was born with caffeine withdraws and still have them today if I don't consume enough caffeine. I have neurological damage that causes me to shake and on occasion it looks like I'm "getting the chills" when I "shiver" but it's actually my body twitching, which is not only embarrassing sometimes, but physically PAINFUL! I also have a lot of physical (and mental) problems because of it.

That being said, when I was pregnant, I did NOT take my medications for anxiety, bipolar disorder or any pain killers.

Living proof that damage CAN be done, and it could've been worse! I am extremely lucky!!!
09/08/2011
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
Quote:
Originally posted by Peggi
I will share something extremely personal with you to justify my response to this post...

I am adopted, but when my birthmom was pregnant with me, she did drugs. They were not the same as medications but have the same affect on a fetus. She ... More
Thank you for sharing this, it means a lot to me. And dont feel like you had to justify yourself, I think I will wind up not taking meds while pregnant when it happens. It is a big fear of mine, and I just wanted some prospective.

Coffee is a big thing for me, I know eventually I will have to find a way to cope when the time comes. I heard you can have a small amount of coffee while pregnant each day, but hearing about you being born with caffeine withdraws is eye opening and I may have to reconsider.

Again thank you for opening up with your story.
09/08/2011
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
Also I wish I wouldve made the votes private I meant to. I dont want anyone to feel judged by having their name and choices up there. Sorry everyone.
09/08/2011
Peggi Peggi
Quote:
Originally posted by Starkiller87
Thank you for sharing this, it means a lot to me. And dont feel like you had to justify yourself, I think I will wind up not taking meds while pregnant when it happens. It is a big fear of mine, and I just wanted some prospective.

Coffee is a ... More
I know that with certain disorders medications can be modified or temporarily changed, because I was given this option, but everyone's situation is different. As far as fearing that things can be passed down, really you risk your child having some sort of disorder even if you and the other genetic parent do not, and I have a friend who took her meds during all 3 of her pregnancies and the only thing her children came out with were ADHD and one of them had a bit of a speech problem but it very likely could've just been by chance! BECAUSE of my personal experience I wouldn't take meds, but from a medical view of it, it is much safer for you and the child for you (you, being any mother in general) to take their medications if they feel they should, because that feeling is your body and mind telling you something, and if you don't listen to that feeling, your body may just reject the pregnancy.
09/08/2011
CoffeeCup CoffeeCup
I should start out by saying I have fairly severe Major Depression, along with general anxiety and ADD. Without psychiatry and psychiatric medication, I do not believe I would have seen my 21st birthday.

And as heavy as that previous statement is, I consider myself lucky. At least, the illnesses I have allow me to experience the same reality as the majority of people.

I not only would have to worry about any children I had "being like me" but worry about them "being like Aunt Helen", too. Full blown Paranoid Schizophrenia. Not to mention a family history of mental health problems going back at least four generations. Even if what my child inherited isn't that severe, coupled with having a depressed mother, it could be devastating.

I would have to choose between taking the medication and living with the anxiety that it was doing the child harm or not taking medication, letting the depression take over and possibly not surviving.

Either way, I am much more likely than not to have postpartum depression. Depending on how severe, that child's father could end up having to take care of a newborn infant AND me.

Sure, things could go right and be just fine. But I don't feel like the risk is fair to anyone involved. In the event my biological clock goes off, first I'm going to hit the snooze alarm and throw it across the room and if that doesn't work I will choose an alternative that doesn't require me passing my genes on.
09/08/2011
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
Quote:
Originally posted by CoffeeCup
I should start out by saying I have fairly severe Major Depression, along with general anxiety and ADD. Without psychiatry and psychiatric medication, I do not believe I would have seen my 21st birthday.

And as heavy as that previous ... More
My depression would have lead me the same place without meds, I wouldnt be here period. It is very bad. But while I am terrified, I just feel like so much of me wants to be a mother. I want to give a child the world, I thought about adopting, which is still feasible. But I want one of my own eventually, and I just think the reward may be greater than the risk for me personally. I feel selfish but I also just cant fight nature.

Thanks for sharing, this is a topic that I just cant seem to get off my mind.
09/08/2011
CoffeeCup CoffeeCup
Quote:
Originally posted by Starkiller87
My depression would have lead me the same place without meds, I wouldnt be here period. It is very bad. But while I am terrified, I just feel like so much of me wants to be a mother. I want to give a child the world, I thought about adopting, which ... More
I don't just worry about the personal risk. I worry about what would happen to that child, too. If I didn't survive would they be harmed too? If they survive and I don't would they feel guilty? What would it be like growing up without a mother? What would it be like growing up without a mother AND having depression?

I've never really wanted kids, but if I did have one, I know I would also want to give them the world. But I know from my own childhood experience, wanting to give them the world doesn't mean the world you are able to give them is very good.

My mom tried for five years to get pregnant with me. Had a horrible complication from a fertility drug that made her deathly ill and all the while not taking any psychiatric drugs. She was so thrilled when I was born. But despite all those good intentions, having depression with a mother that also has depression was rough. I wouldn't be willing to saddle some one with the same thing.

...I'm not trying to change your mind or anything. I hope it doesn't sound that way. These are just my thoughts and considerations about my situation. I try to never assume I know enough about anyone else's life to pass judgement on their decisions.
09/08/2011
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
Quote:
Originally posted by CoffeeCup
I don't just worry about the personal risk. I worry about what would happen to that child, too. If I didn't survive would they be harmed too? If they survive and I don't would they feel guilty? What would it be like growing up without a ... More
Oh no trust me, I would hate if everyone agreed. I love having a flowing conversation of different prospectives. And your bringing up so many valid points which exactly what i wanted in this post. Its such a tricky situation i knew this is the perfect place to ask it. I cant go to my mother with this, she wouldnt understand on a personal level that someone with depression who mothered a child would. Im beyond greatful to have you and everyone else share their very personal stories with me and share opinions that i want to hear, and feel like i need to hear. Im gonna do what im going to do in the end, which is who knows, but I think its theraputic for me to have this conversation.
09/08/2011
Starkiller87 Starkiller87
Aw I went to bed and hoped wed get PGels knowledge on it by the time I woke up. hahaha.
09/09/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
I'm here now, I was MIA for a while, then couldn't find the thread. Sorry.

The days of "NEVER take meds while you are pregnant" are happily over. You see a lot of ambulance chaser "lawyers" trying to get women to sue drug companies and doctors for "forcing" them to take meds during pregnancy. But, in so many ways, many afflictions are worse than MOST drug effects, if the drug even has any effects during pregnancy. I had to take pain meds and anti-nausea meds while I was pregnant with all my kids. I also took these plus antidepressants with my last pregnancy.

I don't worry too much about "passing things down." SO many things have some genetic connection that NO ONE would have kids if everyone with any health problems decided never to have had kids.

Also, a good OBGYN and a good lactation consultant are the best people to talk about meds with, the OBGYN for the pregnancy and the Lactation Consultant for the breastfeeding. Most doctors know NOTHING about breastfeeding and most kids are better off breastfeeding in the long run, even if you have to take meds. (Accutane and Chemotherapy being two exceptions.)

I was much better off with the meds, both during the pregnancies and during the breastfeeding. I was on antidxs during my entire last pregnancy and while I was breastfeeding and I kept waiting for that black cloud to descend at about 8 weeks, as it always had with my other kids. It NEVER did. The meds worked and I think I was a better mother for it. Also, with the pain disorders I have, not taking pain meds was simply not an option. The meds I have to take for pain are very large molecule drugs, and very little gets into milk. My kids were born fine and only have neuro conditions that are familial, not related to medications. I think if I had been in pain AND depressed without help when they were babies, or fed on formula instead of my milk (as they all have terrible allergies) they would have been MUCH worse off.

We have to do what is right for us. There is no "one size fits all" plan for managing chronic illness during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but making the right choices in health care providers, doing your own research and making sure you talk to the right people is essential.

As for those familial conditions, everyone is different. I never expected to have perfect children, but, I'm a good mother and sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to try to hit it.
09/11/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Antipova
Good question, I'm interested to hear the results.

I don't know anything about depression/anxiety/bip olar meds being taken during pregnancy, but I do know that my mom had shingles while she was carrying me. She and her doctor decided ... More
I had to take corticosteroids for migraines that wouldn't break THREE times during my last pregnancy. The doctor told me that the steroids would NOT hurt the baby, in fact, when I went into pre-term labor (which I always do, meds or no meds) the steroids actually had helped my baby's lungs develop, and they would have given them to me THEN to develop her lungs, if I hadn't already had a course. The first thing they do when you go into the ER in pre-term labor is get you on an anti-tocolytic (an anti-contraction drug) and then a cortico-steroid, exactly the same ones they use for inflammatory pain responses, everything from shingles to migraines.

Corticosteroids and pain meds (even opiates, which are actually safer during pregnancy than anti-prostaglandins like Motrin or aspirin) are commonly used during pregnancy. I wonder if your mom's doctor was more concerned about being sued than about your mother's severe pain. I think it was awful that he refused to treat her.

The late 70s through the 80s were a horrible time for pregnant women. Many refused to prescribe anything, mostly for fear of getting sued. The women suffered horribly from not being treated for dangerous and painful conditions by cowardly doctors. Luckily most good doctors today see a woman's pain and illness as just as important as anything else and a good doctor puts his patient before a possible lawsuit.

I'm sorry your mother had to suffer, Antipova. That doctor was a coward. The meds she would have taken for a short period of time are both "B" pregnancy drugs (meaning little or no risk to the developing fetus) and never should have been withheld.

I also need to reiterate that STREET DRUGS have nothing in common with they way doctor prescribed medications are prescribed and taken and MOST prescriptions CAN AND ARE taken safely by pregnant women. Depression can devastate a woman, predispose her to suicide, risky behavior and child endangerment, and cause emotional and mental development damage on her child. Babies whose mothers are depressed during the first year, without treatment actually have been shown to have lower IQs, slower social development and a higher predisposition to depression themselves. When the mother's depression (or Bi-Polar symptoms) are treated, the risk of these problems falls into the normal range. Your BABY is better off when BiPolar Illness is treated, but only a good OBGYN plus a Psychiatrist team can treat YOU in the best way for you.

NOT taking your meds for something like BiPolar illness (which I guarantee you YOGA won't do ANYTHING for) is like holding a loaded gun to your head. DO NOT take a "trial break" from your meds for ANY reason without your doctors full approval and help. Often, with SERIOUS conditions meds are the SAFER way to go, especially with something life threatening like BiPolar illness. I would NOT stop taking your meds for ANY reason. BiPolar illness can be and is treated in pregnant women every day, and they make happier and safer mothers if their condition is under control after the baby is born.

And drinking a couple of cups of coffee during pregnancy is not going to make your baby a "coffee addict" either after birth or for life. It is simply not something that happens.
09/12/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Starkiller87
My depression would have lead me the same place without meds, I wouldnt be here period. It is very bad. But while I am terrified, I just feel like so much of me wants to be a mother. I want to give a child the world, I thought about adopting, which ... More
Sweetie (sorry for all the posts, but this is near and dear to my heart.) You need to talk to a good OBGYN AND your Psychiatrist about this. I know they can formulate a plan that will keep you under control and safe and keep your baby safe as well. I've seen hundreds of women with BP treated successfully and I don't need to tell you what happens to women with BP without treatment.

I think some, who aren't familiar with the condition think BiPolar Illness is like "The Blues" or something. It isn't. It's dangerous, life threatening condition that KILLS people. Going off one's meds is ill advised, it isn't like taking a few weeks off of one's antihistamines to try "natural remedies" or something. One deep depression or Manic episode could be fatal, Star, you and I both know this. (My dad is BiPolar, while I have garden variety depressive episodes.)

If you love kids and want kids, there is a way! You need to take it easy and talk to good health care providers. Good ones will guide you through the pregnancy AND make sure you are kept as symptom free as possible while keeping your baby safe. I've seen it done hundreds of times.

If everyone who had a "familial illness" decided to never have kids, the Earth would depopulate completely in 2 generations. If you want kids, get the help you need and have the healthiest pregnancy you can have, and I am nearly 100% positive that will entail some meds. But, good HCPs have ways of getting women through high risk pregnancies. I've gone through high risk pregnancies, so have millions of other women and you can too, if you want children.

Hugs, honey.
09/12/2011
shySEXXaddict shySEXXaddict
Quote:
Originally posted by Starkiller87
I always see these commercials about law suits from women who decided to take meds while pregnant and now their child has something wrong with them. Being someone who was diagnosed as bipolar and anxiety I was wonder as I get closer to the Pregnancy ... More
I worried about that..I have severe depression so kinda needed to take something.They gave me one thats suposedly less damaging to my baby when I was carrying.And passing down the genetic depression..is true to some.I can tell you my oldest son has it.
09/12/2011
Antipova Antipova
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Sweetie (sorry for all the posts, but this is near and dear to my heart.) You need to talk to a good OBGYN AND your Psychiatrist about this. I know they can formulate a plan that will keep you under control and safe and keep your baby safe as well. ... More
Well, it is a shame that mom had to suffer through that if steroids wouldn't have had a negative effect! How frustrating.

Thank you for your thoughts and expertise, P'Gell. I'm taking this to heart.
09/12/2011
Gone (LD29) Gone (LD29)
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Sweetie (sorry for all the posts, but this is near and dear to my heart.) You need to talk to a good OBGYN AND your Psychiatrist about this. I know they can formulate a plan that will keep you under control and safe and keep your baby safe as well. ... More
I totally agree with this. Your regular doctor/psychiatrist and OBGyn need to be in the loop, and will give you good advice. It is so important to NOT randomly stop taking your meds without consulting them first.

I was on antidepressants, had to manage caffeine intake, needed antibiotics for a severe ear infection, and had to manage migraines while pregnant. Solid medical advice about the risks and benefits of each treatment allowed me to stay healthy and sane, and my son is all the better for it.

Take care!
10/03/2011
sweetpea12 sweetpea12
Quote:
Originally posted by Starkiller87
I always see these commercials about law suits from women who decided to take meds while pregnant and now their child has something wrong with them. Being someone who was diagnosed as bipolar and anxiety I was wonder as I get closer to the Pregnancy ... More
I have never been pregnant but I know that a lot of women are at this crossroads. To take it or to not take it while pregnant. It's a complicated issue and I don't know if I have formed a completely educated opinion of it yet
10/25/2012
Total posts: 21
Unique posters: 8