Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Depression, Medication and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and clinically depressed, you may be worried about stopping your medication. You are not alone.

Julie Jacobstein, M.D., Sinai Hospital Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, says many pregnant women ask about whether they should stop taking their antidepressant. According to the March of Dimes, out of every 10 women who are pregnant, one or two have symptoms of major depression.

“The goal is to keep you on the lowest possible does that is still therapeutic,” Dr. Jacobstein says. “I am a big proponent of psychotherapy, but it’s often putting the two together that works best.”

While a woman may worry about the potential risks of medication, Dr. Jacobstein points out that the benefits of a having a mentally healthy mother should not be overlooked.

“It is more detrimental to the baby’s growth and development to have a mom who is not sleeping, not eating, and not functioning,” she says.

However, a medical professional can work with the woman to taper down levels of medication. Dr. Jacobstein also encourages physicians and family members to keep an eye out for symptoms of depression that arise in pregnancy, especially if the pregnancy was not planned or desired. These symptoms may include trouble sleeping, sleeping too much, family history of depression, lack of interest or difficulty concentrating on the pregnancy, or simply “not being herself.”

“I look for people who are withdrawn,” she says. “I have some women who look at that picture on the ultrasound and there is a detachment. I look at women who are losing weight - are they not eating because they are withdrawn or because they are having difficulty with pregnancy? You ask them, ‘are you excited, have you thought about a delivery plan, have you thought about a pediatrician? ”

Above all, if you are taking an antidepressant and find out that you are pregnant, do not stop taking your medication without talking to your health provider.

To make an appointment with one of Sinai’s ob-gyns, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

1 comment:

TwinMed said...

Depression is a state of the mind and medicines help but what needs to be treated mainly is the mind.Pregnancy is a difficult stage of life ad needs attention.

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