Monday, May 16, 2011

Antidepressants and Pregnancy Research

I do a little bit of medical research for my job, so spend quite a bit of time on PubMed, an international online database of all peer-reviewed medical journals, which I've learned how to navigate extremely well for work. This is both a blessing and a curse. At some level, I love being able to follow some of the research in depression and pregnancy, and at others, there really isn't a hell of a lot of anything good to say.

I work with scientists who study and treat everything from childhood diabetes to cystic fibrosis to pre-eclampsia. My background is certainly not in science, though part of my job is to translate research findings into laypersons terms so that the media gets interested. It's incredible how much "breakthrough in cancer treatment" gets picked up immediately, even if it's not a breakthrough at all but one simple finding in rodents, while top-level immunology research that is actually helping people right now gets lost, because it's not sexy enough.

We have a handful of doctors at the hospital that research antidepressants during pregnancy and I can't help but follow their work. One of the doctor is very anti medication in pregnancy, while another is working on safe levels and another differs entirely and so on and so on. Even in the medical field, when black and white answers are the ultimate goal, there is so much variation on what is safe. The bottom line is, there is such a huge unknown when it comes to prenatal safety, because really, who wants to be in that study?

Our reproductive psych gave us a website resource that is apparently really good for "real life" stats and research on medication and pregnancy. Not the medical jargon and not the wives tails, but somewhere in between. Devon and I really want to sit down and go over it together, and hopefully find some peace in the findings. We haven't been in the same place at the same time for a while, but I hope that will change over the next week or so as a few things in our lives calm down. 

I wonder how many unreported medicated pregnancies there are - there has to be quite a bit, especially with the stigma that surrounds it. Regardless of the medication, I wonder how many women keep it to themselves because of the shame. Or maybe none. Maybe I'm just trying to figure out why I feel like I'm one of the only people in the world who has this on her mind. Or in her heavy heart. I know that's a really selfish thought, but it's my thought, today.


7 comments:

  1. Not selfish. You are doing all the research and all the right things. This will all work out and you will have a healthy baby one way or the other.

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  2. I agree--not selfish. Smart to see what information is out there so you can have the best pregnancy possible. I wonder a lot about unreported medications while people are nursing, too. It's got to happen a lot.

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  3. You are most definitely not the only one. I'll email you some links I have that one of the bloggers sent me when I posted about my partner TTC while on meds.

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  4. Definitely not selfish. In hindsight, I think it is part of why I started my blog... because I couldn't find others "like me." I also did a lot of research on the effects of children growing up with a depressed/bi-polar parent and couldn't find much. Looked for blogs and didn't find any. I believe now that a happy parent = happier baby/kid. Most of the difference is really what YOU are missing out on, not them. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. (Responsibly, of course, which obviously you are.) Thanks for your honesty.

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  5. Thanks so much everyone - your comments have really helped me today.

    Pom - I would love to hear from you with links.

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  6. Will you post Pom's links here or email them to me, pretty please? Thanks!

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  7. Zanaprin and other herbal alternatives have generally been ineffective in relieving stress or anxiety symptoms.People who do not prefer to use prescription medications could opt for using natural supplements such as Zanaprin. Until now, this supplement has received very good reviews.

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