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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?
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.
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