Antidepressant medications and pregnancy

Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist Shoshana Bennett, PhD, explains the safety of taking antidepressant medications while pregnant and whether or not it is recommended
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Antidepressant medications and pregnancy

Although it's best, of course, if the mom doesn't need to take any medication for any reason in pregnancy, whether it's for blood pressure or diabetes or anything else, if she truly needs to take the medication in order to be well during pregnancy, it is better that she takes it as opposed to suffering during the pregnancy. Now the focus used to be on the possible risks for the baby if a pregnant mother uses medication, psychiatric medication. Now the focus has switched to the possible risks if the mom does not take the medication and she truly needs it to be well. There can be negative outcomes for the baby if she's suffering with depression and she doesn't use the medication if she needs it. Pre-term delivery, low birth weight, small for gestational age. With sever anxiety, there can be constriction of the placental blood vessels, which can definitely cause higher cortisol levels, these babies are harder to soothe. So what's most important is she's working with a doctor who knows what's good for her and if she needs the medication, she takes it. The book "Pregnant on Prozac" actually summarizes the research, so it takes the guesswork out of who to listen to and what not to listen to regarding what's safe to take during pregnancy.

Psychologist & Postpartum Specialist Shoshana Bennett, PhD, explains the safety of taking antidepressant medications while pregnant and whether or not it is recommended


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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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