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Monday, March 29, 2010 jweaver82, Community Member, asks

Q: Best and safest depression medication for a women who is 14wks and 5days pregnant.

UndecidedI am looking for the best and safest depression medication for my situation. I know that right now the risk of my depression outweighs taking medication. My depression has been going on long before I found out I was pregnat and I know that depression is one of the leading causes of misscariages. I also know that smoking is not doing me any good or the baby, but my depression is causing me to smoke way more than I would like to. I don't want a medication that is going to knock me out or make me feel like a zombie. I just want something that is going to help my depression go away.Frown

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Answers (2)
John Folk-Williams, Health Guide
3/30/10 12:02pm

Hi -


Please note that I'm not a physician or mental health provider, bu here's what I understand from research. Doctors have traditionally believed that depression may go away during pregnancy because there is a natural "high" from the experience. That could be why yours basically suggested waiting. But for someone who has a history of depression, that seems less likely to happen. Apparently, depression causes the fetus to be exposed to high levels of stress hormones that can be very damaging. You're right, from what I can tell, that the risk to a fetus from untreated depression is much greater than the risk from antidepressants. However, nicotine is much worse, and there's a lot more study that's been done on that - cigarettes have dozens of other chemicals, like cyanide and lead, that are also dangerous. If it were my wife, I'd urge her as strongly as I could to treat the depression and stop smoking.


You should question your doctor closely about this. Depression can also be helped by therapy, diet and non-medication means. In fact, meds alone aren't likely to relieve serious depression completely on their own.


Good luck with this!



Judy, Community Member
3/29/10 6:08pm

I'm not sure that there is any safe antidepressant you can take while pregnant but hope you can at least stop smoking - ask your doctor for help if you don't think you're able to stop.  You're far enough along now that a miscarriage is less likely to happen.  You really need to talk with your doctor about this - do you have a psychiatrist?  If not, you can ask your OB/GYN for a referral.  A therapist might be helpful for you, as well.


I'm sure it is upsetting to not be able to take anything while you're pregnant, but your doctor or a therapist might have some suggestions for alternative ways of handling it until after your baby is born.  I wish you all the best and hope you will feel free to keep writing here.

jweaver82, Community Member
3/29/10 8:57pm

Well see I went to the OB about a few days ago. They want me to come back in two weeks to check and see if it's the pregnancy causing this or if I really am suffering from depression. Well I already knew it wasn't because I was pregnant. The mid-wife basically told me that I needed to weigh the options. If I don't take an antidepressant than it will no questions about it hurt the baby. But if I take an antidepressant it may or may not hurt the baby. That their are antidepressants out now that aren't really that strong enough to hurt the baby but just strong enough to help me. I just wanted to know my options. I will definitely talk to my OB about other alternatives. Thank you so much for your input and I will surely keep writing here. This site is very imformative.

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By jweaver82, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/26/10, First Published: 03/29/10