Antidepressants and pregnancy: safe or not?

There are few hard and fast rules about antidepressants during pregnancy, but antidepressants aren’t prescribed lightly – they’re prescribed to address very real health concerns. Healthcare providers can help direct pregnant people towards the treatments that are safest for each individual pregnancy, but it’s important to remember that the risk of leaving depression untreated needs to be taken as seriously as any potential side effects of medication.

Your healthcare provider knows the most about your mental health history, and can help you make the right decision for you and your baby. It’s important that you tend to your mental health during pregnancy, so that you can have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

How can antidepressants impact a pregnancy?

Most SSRIs are generally not believed to impact fetal growth or development, so if your depression is having a significant impact on your health and peace of mind, your baby is less likely to be affected by a safe antidepressant than he or she would be if you were depressed throughout pregnancy.

The bottom line

It’s great to talk to your healthcare provider and develop a plan for treating your depression during pregnancy.

Most popular antidepressants are safe to take during pregnancy, but you should always speak with your healthcare provider before starting, or ending, an antidepressant regimen. Your mental and emotional health are just as important as your physical health during pregnancy, so if you need antidepressants to stay balanced, it’s probably beneficial.

Read more
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Antidepressants: Safe during pregnancy?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. February 28 2018.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Antidepressants: Selecting one that’s right for you.” MayoClinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, November 25 2014.
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