Antidepressant use during pregnancy is a complicated issue, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution that'll work for everyone. But for many women, addressing mental health issues with medicine is more beneficial than not—and let's not forget that maintaining a healthy pregnancy isn't just about making sure your body is in the best condition: It's also about making sure you're in a good place mentally.
Amanda Seyfried touched on this issue during an appearance on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy podcast. The actress spoke honestly about many aspects of pregnancy and parenting, from breastfeeding to back labor, but her admission about how she managed her mental health pregnancy was perhaps the most candid of all.
Amanda, who welcomed her first child with Thomas Sadoski in 2017, discussed her longtime struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder. She also divulged that she's been on an antidepressant called Lexapro to treat her anxiety.
“I didn’t get off my antidepressant—it’s really for anti-anxiety for me,” Amanda said during the interview. “I’ve been taking Lexapro for years and years and years, and I didn’t get off of it. I was on an extremely low dose."
She also shared that, pregnancy and parenthood have, in some ways, helped her mental health.
"I thought I was going to fall apart being pregnant and postpartum. [I was] very, very scared about postpartum depression my whole life. I found that during pregnancy, my hormones worked for me," she said. "Everyone has a different story...after the first couple of months, I felt really incredible, and after I had the baby I felt really healthy."
The fact that Amanda spoke up about this matters. There are countless women for whom mental health treatments are essential, and it's important for them to realize they're not alone. Deciding whether or not to continue treatments during pregnancy isn't always an easy choice, but women who opt to continue with antidepressant use need to know that as long as their doctors are in favor, there's no need to feel guilty about it.
As we've previously reported, studies have found the risk of birth defects linked to antidepressant use to be low and have suggested there's no connection to heart defect risk. It's a complicated issue for sure, but ultimately, we all have to do what works for our own situations.
After all, as Amanda said during her interview, "a healthy parent is a healthy kid."