Using anti-depressants during pregnancy has both its pros and cons. But it is advisable to not consume unprescribed anti-depressants.
There have not been many cases of childbirth complications due to the consumption of anti-depressants, but there are certain anti-depressants that should be avoided during pregnancy to lower the risk of any major complications.
Avoiding Anti-depressants in Pregnancy- Why
Here is a list of reasons why anti-depressants should be avoided.
Long-term child development issues
You should avoid valproate, if at all possible if you were a child-bearing woman and were likely to get pregnant. If you use this during pregnancy, you have a chance of damaging your unborn baby and of developing long-term problems after they are born.
It might prevent you from breastfeeding
If you are nursing, anti-depressants are generally not suggested. But you and your healthcare practitioner might choose to overlook the possible hazards by taking advantage of your therapy and your child’s advantages.
You may decide that while you are breastfeeding, you are not comfortable taking medicines. There may be more reasons why you don’t want to breastfeed.
For instance, since you nurse the infant, you could not have any sleep. You may also opt to feed in the bottle to take turns with the baby’s father, which can influence your mental health.
Neonatal Adaption Syndrome
On average, around 30% of newborns whose mothers use anti-depressants throughout their pregnancies may exhibit indications of the syndrome of neonatal adaptation.
Symptoms generally include increased irritation, breathing difficulties, and jitteriness that are supposed to be caused by the expulsion of the SSRI. It does not work well, but these symptoms also disappear spontaneously soon enough.
Increase the risk of child sedation
Drugs acting as tranquilizers like alprazolam, clonazepam, and diazepam, on the other hand, especially when used in greater dosages, should be prevented during pregnancy.
These specific medications have long-term effects and might linger too long into the bloodstream and end also in the bloodstream of the kid. This also increases the risk of sedation for children and respiratory problems.
Although results are contradictory, untreated depression is related to premature delivery; hence, in anti-depressant exposure trials, depression is crucial to managing. Many well-designed tests and meta-analyses revealed that anti-depressant exposure poses a risk of pre-term delivery.
Increment in pre-term birth risk may be connected with the use of anti-depressants during pregnancy, but its clinical relevance remains unclear. If true, the danger may be for untreated diseases and exposure to anti-depressants as well as for little utility in the decision-making process.
Cardiac defects are frequent congenital malformations, and early investigations seem to have shown correlations between SSRI usage and cardiac defects, particularly septal ventricular defects and outflow blockages of the ventricular outflow tract.
However, the majority of these early research compared psychiatric population results with general population results.
The last set of research has investigated if there is a relationship between utero exposure to the anti-depressant and autism based upon the “serotonin theory of autism” that suggests the autism phenotype is due to fetal exposure to high levels of serotonin in utero.
Delay in child development
In particular, some children have delays such as crawling, while other children continue to develop on or before schedule.
It can only indicate that your baby is so focused on learning how to comprehend words or how to speak that the brain has for the time been driven into the back burner and is ready when it’s working on it again.
Speech development issues
In the fourteen-year study, children born to mothers with depression and who purchased anti-depressants at least twice during their pregnancy were at least 37% more likely than children born to women with depression but not to purchase anti-depressants during pregnancy to develop language or speech problems.
The researchers also discovered that the children who had no depression and did not buy anti-depressants were 63% more likely to acquire these issues than those children born to moms who had no depression.
Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by hypertension and damaging symptoms to another organ system, liver, and kidneys. In women with normal blood pressure, Preeclampsia generally starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Untreated Preeclampsia can cause you and your child to have significant – and even deadly – problems. If you suffer from Preeclampsia, the birth of your child is the most effective therapy. It might still take a long for you to improve even after having the baby.
Taking unprescribed anti-depressants during pregnancy can pose a threat to both the mother and the baby inside her womb.
Depression is a natural phenomenon, especially during pregnancy, but you must be well aware of the changes you are experiencing. Do not take both your life and your child’s life for granted.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.