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Research suggests that taking an SSRI during pregnancy increases the risk of pre-term birth (before 37 weeks) from 6% to around 20%. (I take an SSRI for anxiety). This seems like a huge deal. That said, the same research also says that women on SSRIs deliver only 5 days earlier than women not on SSRIs, which seems like no big deal. I don't really know how to put those two results together and figure out how I feel about all this.
I can't stop thinking that I'm hurting my baby by taking this medication, but I'm really struggling even when on it. And worrying about it is certainly exacerbating the issue. I feel so guilty that I can't deal on my own and that I could put the baby at risk to be born too soon or with complications such as severe breathing problems (rare) or withdrawal symptoms (more common).
This came up because I had my first appt with my new midwife this morning, and she was much more concerned about it than my old OB or the prescribing psychologist.
I'm generally just so overwhelmed and stressed out right now I don't know where to start. I am thisclose to breaking down at my desk right now. I don't know why I thought pregnancy was a good idea anymore. I've lost all enthusiasm for the whole deal.
I don't want to go back to the old OB at all---I'm very in love with the birth center! She actually put no pressure or opinion into the matter---she asked me if I had read the articles/knew the risks of taking the medication, whereas my old OB and my psychiatrist basically said they felt the benefits outweighed the risks and that the risks were rare. My midwife also said that she'd only seen two births with SSRI issues and they were in the same person.
((HUGS)) I'm on one also. I try not to worry about it b/c I know I need my meds. My OB and Pediatrician both agree that the benefits outweigh the risks. Neither of them have seen any problems in babies born to medicated mothers.
To me it seems like there if there is a 20% chance of preterm labor, than 80% of women don't go into preterm labor and most only deliver 5 days before women not on the meds. If you had already experienced problems with contractions at this point in your pregnancy, I would be more concerned. But I honestly think that the benefits *do* outweigh the risks.
I'm sorry you're so stressed about it.
Rachel, Proud Work-at-home Mommy to:
Karrissa 17, Amara 11, Makenna 9.5
Noah 5, Nash 3 & Grey born 3/31/10
I know nothing about it but since you're not the only one on SSRIs or who was on it with prev. pregnancies and they're doing fine, I think you'll be fine too. I agree that I'll be concerned if you were having a complicated pregnancy or signs or preterm labor
It sounds like you can not afford to be off this medication. I know it would be hard and I'd stress over it too, but this is something you need to be doing. While the premature birth stats do sound like they go up a bit, every day and week over 28 weeks is helping your baby. You've made it this far so try not to feel guilty or anxious.