It goes without saying that depression is dangerous to pregnant moms and unborn babies. Figuring out how to deal with depression can be a bit frustrating (not to mention seriously scary), it is possible to find yourself again. Don't ever feel like you're going through this alone because many of us have been there before. In fact, one of our readers asked: "Dear Dr. Shosh, I've been on anti-depressants for many years and am worried about having to come off them to have a baby. Is anything safe when you're pregnant? Are there other techniques that can help me?"

Hypnotherapist and psychologist Dr. Shoshana Bennett addresses the complicated issue of how to manage your depression during pregnancy perfectly. First, she mentions that "For each woman and couple, it's important to think about the treatment options [for depression], ideally before you get pregnant." She goes on to say that "Depression in pregnancy can hurt everyone, including the baby, so treatment of some kind is essential." She suggests working with a psychiatrist who has the specialized clinical expertise you need. This may or not be the current psychiatrist you have been working with. Many women also stay on their meds since that is what is best for them. Other women are advised to wean off or take different ones depending on the type of medication they are taking. It is highly important to meet with your doctor before making any major decisions about your medication. Think of the safety of your baby before you do anything.

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi I’m Dr. Shoshan Bennett with Ask an Expert answering your love and relationship questions.  Today’s question is: Dear Dr. Shosh, I’ve been on anti-depressants for many years an am worried about having to come off them to have a baby.  Is anything safe when you’re pregnant?  Are there other techniques that can help me?

Yes, and good for you for inquiring.  For each woman and couple it’s important to think about the treatment options ideally before you get pregnant.  Depression in pregnancy can hurt everyone, including the baby.  So treatment of some kind is essential. You want to work with a psychiatrist with a specialized clinical expertise that you need at this time.  So it may or may not be the same psychiatrist you've been working with.  Many women stay on their medication since that’s what’s best for them and others are advised to wean off or switch to a different one depending on the type of medication they’re taking.  “Pregnant on Prozac” is a book that details what’s known to date regarding the safety of psychotropic medication during pregnancy as well as the natural alternative treatments.  And by the way, don’t ever drop cold turkey off your medication if you suddenly find yourself pregnant.  No changes should be made before speaking to your psychiatrist, and often, no changes are required. 

Connect with me at YourTango.com/Experts/DrShosh.

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