Antidepressants aren’t usually recommended for pregnant women. But for some women the potential risks of taking the medication will outweigh the risks of not treating their condition.
Do not stop taking medication for mental health problems before talking to your doctor. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms. It could also make your symptoms come back or get worse.
If your healthcare professional thinks you may need to start taking or continue taking antidepressants they should explain the pros and cons clearly. They should also take into consideration and talk to you about:
- what’s best for your stage of pregnancy
- what mental health condition you have
- how your condition affects you
- how quickly you’ve become unwell if you’ve stopped taking medication
- what medications have helped you
- if any medications have caused side effects
- what other treatments you are having, such as talking therapy.
If you decide to take medication when you are pregnant you should be offered the type with the least risk for you and your baby. You should be offered the lowest amount that will still work and should usually not take more than 1 type.
If you would like to stop medication when you are pregnant, but medication is the best treatment for your condition, your doctor should talk to you about your reasons for wanting to stop medication and about the risks, if any, to you and your baby.
If you understand the risks to you and your baby and still decide to stop medication, your doctor should talk to you about having cognitive behavioural therapy, if this is appropriate.