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Parenting and Mental Health
Medication and pregnancy/breastfeeding 
9th-Feb-2008 01:53 pm
Medication can interfere with the healthy development of the fetus and be expressed in breast milk. Some people choose to go off their medication in order to safeguard their child. Other people stay on their medication for their own sake, knowing the risks.

Did you take medication during and/or after your pregnancy? If you do/did not take medication during pregnancy or post-childbirth, what effect did that have on your mental health? If you take (or plan to take) medicine post-childbirth, was your child born healthy? Do you breastfeed,  formula-feed, or some combination of the two?
Comments 
9th-Feb-2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
I'm due the end of March but as soon as I found out I was pregnant I stopped all medications, stopped drinking alcohol, stopped drinking caffeine and I rarely even take a tylenol (although it's suppose to be safe). I plan on breastfeeding for at least a year so I won't be going back on any meds any time soon. So far I am ok. I think the idea of finally having a baby (I'm 32 and thought I couldn't have children...which added to my depression as I thought of myself as "broken" and not a whole woman for a long time) to take care of and love has helped me deal with the depressing parts of my life. I feel like I finally have a purpose.
10th-Feb-2008 12:40 am (UTC) - Meds and Pregnancy
When I was pregnant with my 2nd son, Koulston, (18mos old now) I had severe withdrawl symptoms from my meds when the doctor tried to take me off of them. It was horrible!!!!! So he dropped me down to the lowest dosage I could take and I was fine. My child was healthy and so was I. However, I do not think I will ever try to conceive again due to this problem. I got lucky with my baby, but next time I may not.
10th-Feb-2008 04:02 am (UTC)
I had a toddler and an infant by the time I got into counseling and was diagnosed. When I got on the right medication, it made things so much better for me because I could actually deal with and handle situations better. (That was a really rough time for me.) That was a little over five years ago. When I got surprised with baby number three, I weaned off my meds. It actually went very well and I handled pregnancy a lot better this go round. When he was born, I started back on meds. I didn't breastfeed because I couldn't handle the post pregnancy hormones and my BPD. He is perfectly healthy and will be a year old in a couple of weeks.
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10th-Feb-2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
I have never enjoyed being on meds of any kind, I am the sort who tends not to take a tylenol when I have a headache or have caffeine except once in a blue moon so there was no issue there during my pregnancy but I have to say my binge eating disorder got completely and utterly out of control during my pregnancy and some time afterwards. My daughter is 4 and a half and I just this week managed to hit my pre pregnancy weight (which isn't exactly slender).

My daughter was born healthy but massive at 9pds 13 oz (this is the size of a sack of potatos) and I was induced early for preeclampsia also.. they say preeclampsia robs the baby of nutrients s/he would otherwise be getting so I hate to think how huge she'd have been if she'd been getting all those nutrients and was late rather than early.

I was super pro breastfeeding and breastfed her for 6 months with every single possible problem you can imagine, from nipple confusion, to thrush, to very very low milk production (I'm talkin I could pump one ounce in 2 hours of constant pumping)the doctors said she was failure to thrive, it was terrifying to me and I was basically given an ultimatum, I could supplement with formula or they'd take her from me. The introduction of formula only made our breastfeeding "progress" worse and by 6 months she was giving up on the breast (which is highly unusual) I was sooo distressed about the entire thing I felt like a complete failure.

In retrospect I think I should have been easier on myself, and I may have even had an easier time breastfeeding if I had calmed down trying to be supermom.
16th-Feb-2008 12:00 am (UTC)
I'm currently pregnant, and due on April 20th.

I'm taking Effexor and Lithium, because I had a severe breakdown in August which led to a suicide attempt that I very nearly was successful with. I was hospitalized for nearly two weeks, and since then have been medicated.

I was made aware of the risks of using these medications during pregnancy (particularly the Lithium) and told that it was highly recommended I stay on my meds. I have been closely monitored by the high risk unit at the hospital I will be delivering at, and I am having a very healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy, thus far (at nearly 8 months).

Knowing that I was taking such a risk was very stressful to me at first, but I realized that I am completely unstable without my medication at this point, and that I may not have made it through the pregnancy without it.

Now my main concern is breastfeeding, as I know it's a very controversial topic. I would love to breastfeed, but I don't want to put my baby at serious risk. I have been told by my doctors that it may be possible to breastfeed while medicated, but that if I do so, the baby will have to be monitored quite regularly to ensure she doesn't become toxic. I know that breastfeeding has many benefits, but I'm not sure that the risks are worth it.
16th-Feb-2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
I was only diagnosed as Bipolar with SAD last year and my son was born in Sept 1999. I was the most well balanced and well I'd ever been during my pregnancy and the 15 months I breastfed for. I wasn't on any meds, although previously I'd been on Prozac and I went back on to it after stopping breast feeding. At that point I was only diagnosed with SAD however.
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