Yesterday evening I was invited by Huffington Post to take part in a live interview via Google + hangouts with DR. Adam Urato and two other mums that suffered of depression during pregnancy and took antidepressants - Becky Harks and Rhiana Maidenbergand. If you would like to watch it please feel free to press the link below
If you watch it please be gentle as it is basically my first time ever and I did bubble a lot. However, i am proud that I did take part and told my story.
So what is this new study is actually saying about the SSRI antidepressants and pregnancy? Apparently their is a connection between taking the antidepressants and pregnancy complications and birth defects.
So what do we do us mums? If we know that we will have to take antidepressants do we still take pregnant or not? Do we take the antidepressants and put our unborn baby at risk or do we just don't get pregnant and look after our health?
As with any new study you can imagine that there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. Some say that there is not enough prove that the antidepressants do actually affect our unborn babies while others say that is best to avoid them altogether while pregnant - "better safe than sorry".
As you know even before I knew about this study i refused to take antidepressants. It is a lot harder to manage but for me my baby is a lot more important. I do suffer of moderate antenatal depression but I am trying to manage it with the help of the prenatal team and the specialist midwife. Of course I have moments when I feel really low and maybe the antidepressants would've helped to keep them away but I'm just not prepared to do it.
The study conducted by Dr. Adam Urato and Dr. Alice Domar says that actually the SSRIs antidepressants — which include Citalopram, Fluoxetine, Prozac etc. — do little to combat depression in pregnant women anyway, even if the numerous risks were not a consideration. I took Citalopram for postnatal depression and again this time my doctor wanted to prescribe them to me. If you want to find which other antidepressants are SSRIs you can simply visit the List of antidepressants on Wikipedia .
Dr. Adam Urato told The Telegraph:
“Study after study shows increased rates of newborn complications in those babies who were exposed to SSRIs in utero. The (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and Health Canada have put out warnings specifically regarding this issue.
Research also has linked SSRIs to a growing number of birth defects, including heart defects, anencephaly, cleft lip and palate, and respiratory distress.
(...) at least 40 studies have linked a woman’s use of SSRIs to the pre-term birth of her baby, which can lead to a host of other complications. Four other studies show that SSRIs elevate the risk of pre-eclampsia, or high blood pressure, in the mother that can lead to liver problems, stroke and stillbirth."
Dr. Alice Domar declared the below at the American Society of Reproduction inSan Diego the following:
“We’re not saying that every pregnant woman should go off her medication. Obviously you don’t want a pregnant woman to attempt suicide,” ; “[But] if you add up all the potential risks, a lot of people would say they are unacceptable.”
Now talking as a mum and a as sufferer of antenatal depression I feel happy that these two doctors are trying to make the mums aware of the risks of taking antidepressants during pregnancy, taking any kind of medication in pregnancy has its warnings and of course it is better to know about any advertisements rather than shove medication down our throats hoping that everything will be ok.
Urato said yesterday in the interview that of course he is not telling mums what to do he is merely telling them the risks and making them more aware of the risks. He also said that he offers his patients counselling as much as it is possible because in women with mild or moderate depression that should be the first step to take.
What it is your opinion about this subject? Did you suffer of antenatal depression? Did you take medication or chosen not to? If you are planning to get pregnant and already suffer of depression what do you think you will do? Would be lovely to hear back from you. Lets together bring awareness around antenatal depression and the risk of taking antidepressants during pregnancy.
On another note, this year I was nominated for the Top 25 European Moms! If you spare a minute would be lovely if you could give me a vote. Voting is closing on 21st of November at 4pm UK time and until then you can vote daily.
Click on he badge below or the link above and you will be directed to the voting page.