Antidepressant medications and getting pregnant

Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist Shoshana Bennett, PhD, explains the effects antidepressants have on women trying to get pregnant
How Antidepressants Affect Getting Pregnant
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Antidepressant medications and getting pregnant

If your'e on an antidepressant and you're thinking about getting pregnant, the perfect thing to do is to go to your doctor, the prescribing doctor, and have a consultation with him or her and set up a medical plan of action before you get pregnant. That's ideal. Sometimes we find ourselves pregnant before that happens and then you still need to see your doctor before making any changes. But setting up a medical plan of action, a strategy, is the very, very best thing you can do. The doctor might say maybe you can ween off, and you can slowly ween off before you get pregnant. Maybe the doctor will suggest that you stay on the antidepressant and get pregnant on it. Maybe the doctor will, if you're on something that's contraindicated for pregnancy, maybe the doctor will suggest switching. But the rule of thumb, especially with antidepressants, is that it is not the time to experiment. If you are on something that's working and you need to stay on an antidepressant, that is typically what you are going to stay on. One of the worst things that women will do id to stop abruptly taking their medication when they're thinking about getting pregnant. That's not only dangerous for her, it's dangerous for her physically, it's dangerous psychologically, and the relapse is very, very high, but it's also not good if you happen to be pregnant and you abruptly stop. That's not good for the growing baby. So the key here is to visit with the doctor as soon as possible before getting pregnant, ideally, and if you find yourself getting pregnant and you're on a medication, before making any changes at all, go see that doctor.

Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist Shoshana Bennett, PhD, explains the effects antidepressants have on women trying to get pregnant


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Shoshana Bennett, PhD

Clinical Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist

Shoshana Bennett, PhD (“Dr. Shosh”) from the popular Radio Show is the author of Pregnant on Prozac, Postpartum Depression For Dummies, and co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety.  She is also the creator of the new mobile app PPD Gone.  National TV shows including  20/20, Discovery Channel, The Doctors and The Ricki Lake Show feature Dr. Shosh as the pregnancy and postpartum mood expert and news stations such as CNN consult her. Several publications including the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News have written articles on Dr. Shosh’s work.  She’s interviewed regularly on national radio and has been quoted in dozens of newspapers and magazines such as The Wall Street Journal, WebMD, Boston Globe, Fit Pregnancy, Glamour, Parenting, Psychology Today, New York Post, Self, Cosmopolitan, and the Chicago Tribune. 

Dr. Shosh is a pioneer in the field.  She is a survivor of two life-threatening postpartum depressions. She founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987, and is a former president of Postpartum Support International. Dr. Shosh helped develop the official Postpartum Support International training curriculum for professionals which is now considered the gold standard in the field. She has helped over 19,000 women worldwide through individual consultations, support groups and wellness seminars.  As a noted guest lecturer and keynote speaker, she travels throughout the US and abroad, training medical and mental health professionals to assess and treat postpartum depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. She earned three teaching credentials, two masters degrees, a PhD and is licensed as a clinical psychologist.

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