Posts Tagged ‘ taking antidepressants while pregnant ’

I’m Turning Hippie–For a Moment

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Will This Cure Me?

Author’s Note: I wrote a few posts before going to the hospital to deliver. I am probably still there now, getting to know my new baby so  I may be slow in getting back to the comments, but I will soon. Promise.

Okay, so I posted about my irrational pregnancy fears and my oldest friend Kirsten, who lives in Mexico, wrote to me. She had read my blog (what a good friend) and was urging me to try “flower essences” as a way to cure my obsessive phobias.  If she hadn’t been my friend since 4th grade, I would have immediately rolled my eyes. I take a plethora of herbs, but I am also a big believer in modern medicine. As in drugs.

But I got to thinking, maybe it’s worth a shot. Can’t hurt.

So I found myself at the health food store this week buying Bach Flowers based on her recommendations:

1. Crab apple (for obsessing over cleanliness and purity)

2. Mimulus (for fear of specific things…like spiders)

3. Cherry Plum (for feeling like you are about to lose it!!)

It cost me nearly $60 for 3 small vials. I am trying not to think about how much good wine I could have drank. But Kirsten is so passionate about it I didn’t want to let her down (maybe I need a tonic for co-dependency??).

She said the following to me via email:

Seriously if you haven’t been experimenting with Bach essences as a mom…it’s time to!! I don’t think I could have gotten through the last years without them. They are an integral part of my family’s emotional well-being. What’s more beautiful than flower drops to balance out negative emotional states?? They’re subtle but profound…and you can avoid the drugs! 

I happen to like the drugs. But am happy to try and experiment with the natural too. Just don’t think I’m going to advocate homebirth next.

Okay, off to drink….flowers.  Stay tuned for my progress report.

P.S. If any of you are interested in learning more, her email is  flowerkirsten@yahoo.com. She does private consultations and all that jazz. She’s a certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant too. I can barely spell all that. But it sounds impressive. And having been a life long friend, I know she is the real deal.

 

Picture of homeopathic medicine via Shutterstock

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Running a Marathon at 38 Weeks Pregnant? That’s Just Plain Stupid.

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I’m a marathoner. And I have a baby. But running 26.2 miles while pregnant? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t do it at any stage of my pregnancy.

It’s being reported all over the place: the woman who ran the Chicago Marathon this weekend at 38 weeks pregnant, giving birth hours later. Sorry folks, but I think that’s just plain stupid.

The year and a half before I got pregnant I ran Chicago, Boston and New York. It’s not like you wake up and decide to run a marathon. There is extensive training involved. I’m going to take a wild leap here and guess that she trained throughout her entire pregnancy. Which means running in excess of 18 miles on a fairly regular basis in her 3rd trimester. No doubt about it, she put her body through some extreme stress.

Look, I’m all for staying in shape during your pregnancy. I ran through a decent deal of my first pregnancy. But more like 3 miles a few times a week. I ran slow, and took it easy.  No sprinting. At around 5 months I just decided to stop running in lieu of long hikes combined with lunges–which are low impact. When I asked my doctor about running hard, he said, “Why have a baby bouncing around in there like that? It just doesn’t sound like a great idea.” And I agreed. It seemed well, dare I say, logical??

Yeah, I know, baby seems fine. Yeah, I know, she did a run/walk, finishing in 6 hours and 25 minutes (that’s about a 15 minute mile).  But I think common sense should intervene on this one.

Forget the science. You are carrying a baby, not a bowling ball. This living, breathing thing is being sloshed around in your belly like a ship caught in a storm at sea. Who thinks that sounds like fun? As someone who gets massively seasick, not I.  But it goes beyond that. When you become pregnant, priorities naturally have to shift. Or at least they should. And in case she doesn’t know, some of these sacrifices continue for the next, oh, 18 years.

Lastly, don’t forget, this was a choice. She wasn’t forced to flee from her burning village or walk 26.2 miles to a refuge camp. She made a conscious decision to do this. I truly think she was putting her own needs (and maybe those of the spotlight) in front of her baby on this one.

I just hope she is equipped for the marathon of motherhood. And the sacrifices that follow.

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Dealing With Depression While Pregnant–Your Comments

Friday, August 19th, 2011

It’s almost the weekend and I’m just getting up to speed after having my computer crash. It crashed right after I posted my blog about taking antidepressants while pregnant. I was able to read all of your comments and then boom. I was in the dark. Until now.

I was so incredibly blown away by how much we all opened up to each other. The thoughtful, lengthy, heartfelt comments really touched me. Thank you for taking the time. For all of us who are struggling, let’s commend ourselves for having the courage to open up. We shouldn’t be living in a day and age where there is still a stigma attached to mental health issues.

Some of you are still battling the beast. Others have risen up to see the light after weeks and months spent in darkness.

Was curious to hear from @Meredith about what your doctor said in your follow up visit. You mentioned you were feeling pretty down again towards the end of your pregnancy and wanted to see if he/she offered any ideas.

@Heather actually gave me a name of an amazing reproductive psychiatrist at NYU who I’m going to see. I have taken my dose down in the past 2 months and I can feel the pull to the dark side. I can handle it at this level, but any lower, and I fear I’d be miserable.

@Mae—you and a few others made the excellent point that if you were diabetic during pregnancy you would take insulin; if you had a heart condition you would take medication. Why is treating depression any different? For those who haven’t experienced it before, I can tell you first hand it’s not a choice any of us make.

I would urge @Jessica to consider that analogy. Are you saying people who have depression and need meds shouldn’t have a baby? Remember, it’s a proven chemical imbalance. A problem that is treatable just like the examples above.

There were a few nasty comments, of course. It wouldn’t be a proper blog without. To those who have clearly never struggled with depression and said that if we take pills for it, then we shouldn’t have children, I’ll happily tell you my opinion: your judgment is incredibly small minded and cruel. Not to mention ignorant.  I’m not commenting any more than that, as I don’t think it’s worth wasting my energy on.

I’ll end with two comments from my readers. And @Liz you are welcome. It was an honor to put my story out there, especially when I discovered I have kindred spirits like all of you by my side. But for the grace of god, go I…

By Liz

Thank you for being a voice for those who may suffer in silence due to fear of the unknown. Going through a severe depression myself, which began, in early pregnancy I can totally relate. I would not have gotten through it without the help of medication. Depression is a serious illness that one can only truly understand if they have been through it themselves. The risk of what could have happened had to seriously be weighed against the risk of what my anxiety and depression could have done to my unborn child. And FYI she is a healthy happy baby girl.

By Emily

I was just reading in The Economist of all places about research showing that babies born to mothers who were depressed or under extreme emotional stress during their pregnancies have actual changes in their brains that make them more prone to anxiety and fearfulness. I don’t have the article handy now and can’t remember the exact scientific details, but the gist of it is that there is a STRONG argument to be made for treating depression and anxiety by any means necessary during pregnancy, not just for the moms’ relief and ability to function, but for the babies’ functioning later in life. I started Zoloft when my youngest was 18 months old, and my oldest was 3, and my only regret is why did I not start sooner? I was functioning more or less OK, but experiencing no joy in life. What kind of mom is that? So glad I got over my fear of side effects (which have actually been non-existent, as far as I can tell) and can now enjoy life!


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