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Valium during TTC and Pregnancy

Forum: Mental Health


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September 22nd, 2011, 11:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1
I am so glad i found this post. I have been taking antidepressants and xanex for years.....i recently found out that i was pregnant (about 8 wks) and have been scared to death about the health of my baby. I have cut down on the amount i am taking but it is now 2:30am and i can not sleep. I have also been having severe anxiety attacks to where i feel like i cant breath. I am embarrased to even be on this while i am pregnant but knowing that i am not alone is a huge help. thank you all so much!!!!
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January 11th, 2012, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Bizzlez_girl_88 :
I am going through the same issue with my fiance being in jail except I am only under five weeks pregnant. On top of all that stress I had a still born daughter in January of 2010. I carried her full term. I am terrified of it happening again. We should talk tthough.
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May 4th, 2012, 03:04 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by rebeccabaltimore and more View Post
I do have experience. I took Valium during my last pregnancy. I took 5mg pills. I didn't take many in the first trimester because I feared cleft palate, but I took one a day in the second trimester. My psychiatrist consulted the leading medical expert in the world of psychiatric medications during pregnancy, and she conformed that Valium is safe to take at moderate levels during pregnancy. (Her name is Jennifer Payne and she runs the Women and Mood Disorders Clinic at Johns Hopkins Hospital incase you are interested.) In the words of my psychiatrist, "Valium is perfectly safe in pregnancy provided you are not taking huge doses of it like Marilyn Monroe or a 1960's housewife."

As you can see from my signature, my son was stillborn, but it was not in any way related to Valium usage, or any other drug for that matter. I was diabetic and no one knew it, and that's what made him sick.

I am currently TTC and hope to be pregnant soon, and I am using Valium.
Hi Rebecca, I just joined here today. I know you posted this message a long time ago now, but I felt I wanted to reply to say thank you so much.

I suffered a silent miscarriage four weeks ago at 12 weeks PG (no heartbeat found at scan). I had been taking 5mg of prescribed Valium due to anxiety disorder when I found out I was pregnant. Weaned myself off it over a few weeks, which was nightmarish in terms of side effects. But I have since been beating myself up, to put it mildly - torturing myself would be more accurate a description - that it was the Valium that may have caused my miscarriage. Like the other posters here, I had received some horrible, judgmental comments on other message boards about this. These comments were in spite of the fact I'd been told by medics that I wasn't ovulating so this pregnancy was a total surprise (not that that should make a difference, what is it with people who seem to want to make a person feel worse when something like this has happened). Though for anyone getting the same medical advice I was about ovulation, miracles do happen as I have a beautiful 7 year old, so something somehow is working!

Anyway, I'm rambling on. I just wanted to say thank you to you from the bottom of my heart for your post. I got all these spiteful comments elsewhere and then I find your well-informed, reassuring, actually backed up by genuine medical expert advice of a post. I cried with relief when I read it.

Thank you and kind wishes,

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July 5th, 2012, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1
I just wanted to respond to this thread, though I know it's old. I have a rare muscle condition and have had to take Valium all my life. I was freaked how it would effect my children, but managed to get to such a low dose (5mg/day, some days I would skip all together or take half if I could) my doctors, the perintologist, and my neurologist all assured me the dose was so low, it would not affect my baby. And my daughter Kaleigh was born healthy and happy at 37 wks and is now 4 years old and fine. My son Jackson was born 6 wks early due to my severe preeclampsia, and he shows symptoms of having my muscle condition, as well as possible asthma, due mainly to his prematurity, so so far, none of my babies have had any issues b/c of low dose valium, and I took it all thru pregnancy, even the first trimester. I am currently 17 wks pregnant now and have just basically stuck with my usual 5 mg. I so wish I could be off Valium as I hate being dependant on a drug, and despite my healthy children, hate that I have to take it during pregnancy, (though I'm not worried about side effects to them anymore), I just am sick of being on it. (I'm 31yrs old). But when I do try to go off it, even a slow weaning process, I don't know if it's the withdrawl, or my condition, or both, but I can't function, can't walk properly mainly b/c I'm so shaky, off balance, dizzy, jumpy, etc. I surely wouldn't trust myself to hold an infant, so as for this stage in my life with young children, I keep on with the Valium, and to hell with people who treat you bad for it. I have healthy kids, many doctors approval, and a calmer pregnancy (and overall quality of life) when on it. At least for now. When that will change, I don't know. But if it's working for you and you're on a low dose, don't sweat the critics. The stress is worse for you than the Valium.
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November 26th, 2012, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 8
I am laying in hospital right now waiting to find out if I'm having a miscarriage.. I have been taking Valium on and off for a few months...
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January 1st, 2013, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
I'm on 10 mg a day and have severe anxiety everyone says I'm killing my baby even though all my doctors say its okay. The stress my boyfriends family is putting on me about it is making it a lot worse to where I'm crying daily. I started passing kidney stones and now everyone is on me because I needed pain medication. I'm 10 weeks along is this really that unsafe.
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January 25th, 2013, 06:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Hi...so glad I found this post. Just found out I am pregnant and was taking 10mg once a day since March 2012. I tried to quit completely ASAP but experienced rapid heartbeat & palpatations, panic attacks, rage, etc. It was horrible. So I spoke to my dr. about a plan to taper off. Had no clue how addictive diazepam could be (to my body, at least).

I am currently reducing by 1mg every 2 weeks, right now at 9mg and will reduce to 8mg on Monday. So far a little bit of nervousness and my heart rate is high, but the slow taper is better than quitting "cold turkey". I just want to say thank you to everyone that commented on this thread, I found it very reassuring and my husband doesn't understand at all. He thinks I should just be able to stop the diazepam immediately so I feel very alone with no one to talk to. I'm so scared the medication could affect the baby.

I'm a SAHM mom to a two 1/2 year old with sensory processing disorder (he dooesn't chew any food) and we have him in both private feeding therapy and our state's early intervention program. We've had little success with both, all he will eat is Stage 3 baby food and regular oatmeal with mashed banana. I also try to stay busy with a freelance administrative assistant business. But there's a lot of stressors and I just hope I'll be able to handle not being on any type of anti-anxiety meds for the duration of the pregnancy. Thank you for giving me hope. :-)
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February 28th, 2013, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
I am 7 weeks pregnant and just found out a week ago. Before getting pregnant I was put through the surgical ringer when my kidney fell into my abdomen and had to have this crazy surgery to tack it back into place which went terribly wrong and resulted in an abdominal hernia because the sutures were tied to tightly around my iliolingual nerve. Following that I had to have the perm sutures removed from that surgery to stop the pain. The kidney pain never stopped and I was referred up to George Washington University Hospital in DC so have the surgery reversed and my kidney tacked to the back of my liver. While in there they found stage 3 endometriosis which they removed during the same surgery. Needless to say I have had 10 surgeries in the last 5 years and with all the scar tissue and nerve damage my doctors have had me on valium for severe muscle spasms and anxiety. I take 5 mg 2 to 3 times a day. Since finding out I was pregnant and reading stuff online I stopped taking it but I am in so much pain I cannot get off the couch. Im not really sure what to do. What are the risks of cleft palate's this early on in the pregnancy? Im still in the 1st trimester. Do I just stick it out or is it safe to take at a low dose as needed. I dont need them every day. Maybe 1 or 2 every week or so. Thanks. Any input would be great

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May 14th, 2013, 11:56 AM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by rnelson801 View Post
I'm on 10 mg a day and have severe anxiety everyone says I'm killing my baby even though all my doctors say its okay. The stress my boyfriends family is putting on me about it is making it a lot worse to where I'm crying daily. I started passing kidney stones and now everyone is on me because I needed pain medication. I'm 10 weeks along is this really that unsafe.
There are risk associated with talking valium during pregnancy but you have to consider the dangers of getting off your medications too. I found this great FREE hotline called Mother to Baby. They can give you all the information you need to help you weigh the dangers and benefits of your medication during your pregnancy and while you're breastfeeding.

The number is 1-800-733-4727

Hope this helps!
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August 20th, 2013, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by Hailee&Nevansmommy View Post
Is valium effective for racing thoughts, and obsessing as well as anxiety i want to ask my dr about it.
Hi Hailee & Nevan's Mommy,

I just wanted to comment and let you know that for the most part that is exactly what I take valium for. I know it varies from person to person, but for me, I get excessive racing thoughts and overwhelming obsessing thoughts as well as anxiety. It does help me a lot and calms me down and just yesterday it stopped me when I was having bad chest pains.

I hope this helps.
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November 14th, 2013, 03:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1
Hello all,

This is a great website here, and I was interested to find this post after my own (nightmarish!) experience years ago now. I know this is an old thread, but I keep coming back to it, because I worry about people going through what I went through = beating yourself up with a giant guilty sticky endlessly for feeling like like a bad person because you "can't cope"/should be able to do what other people tell you is "best for the baby" when you can't, because you suffer from the crippling, debilitating mental health problem that is anxiety and/or depression and require medication for it. Then, to make it worse, other people make you feel terrible with their - often ill-informed - criticism on websites and chat forums.

Obviously no one ideally wants to be in the position we are in - we'd all love to be able to deal with things with some herbal tea and deep breathing, but that isn't the reality for people with problems as severe as ours sadly.

Right, for what it's worth, this is my story: I was on valium throughout my pregnancy until towards the end when I was able to come off - so I took it first trimester included. I initially tried to go cold turkey and come off completely when I found out I was pregnant, and honestly felt like I was going to die. There is no other way to describe it. If anyone is reading this considering valium as an option for dealing with anxiety, my advice would be don't go there if anything else works for you keeping your anxiety and panic attacks to manageable levels. It is highly addictive and the withdrawal is horrific. Your doctor will be able to suggest all the other options for you. Anyway, back to what happened to me. I found out I was pregnant, panicked and as I said tried to come off completely - like so many of you being scared witless by things I had found on the Internet and also then being called "evil" and similar by charming people on chat forums when I was posting desperate for help and advice. So, realising I could not just come off my valium, I tapered down initially to 10 mg a day and then 5 mg, 2mg down to 1mg and finally off the stuff gradually from there by the end of my pregnancy. My daughter is now 8 years old and completely fine for what it's worth.

I have suffered from chronic anxiety and panic disorder my entire adult life from my early teens (I am about to turn 40 now), and anyone who criticises you on the issues discussed anywhere in this thread does not understand what it is like to live with these conditions on a daily basis. They may claim to know what anxiety or depression is like, but they don't. Give yourself a giant pat on the back if you made it out of the house today.

Seems I cannot uses links here, but you might find the articles on "How to treat anxiety symptoms" and "Psychiatric disorders during pregnancy" useful from the MGH Center for Women's Health.

Of particular relevance is this section:

"Anti-Anxiety Medications

The consequences of prenatal exposure to benzodiazepines have been debated for over twenty years. Three prospective studies support the absence of increased risk of organ malformation following first trimester exposure to benzodiazepines. More controversial has been the issue of whether first trimester exposure to benzodiazepines increases risk for specific malformations. Although initial reports suggested that there may be an increased risk of cleft lip and palate, more recent reports have shown no association between exposure to benzodiazepines and risk for cleft lip or palate. This risk– if it exists — is calculated to be 0.7%, approximately a ten-fold increase in risk for oral cleft over that observed in the general population. Nonetheless, the likelihood that a woman exposed to benzodiazepines during the first trimester will give birth to a child with this congenital anomaly, although significantly increased, remains less than 1%.

Currently, no systematic data are available on the reproductive safety of non-benzodiazepine anxiolytic agents such as buspirone and hypnotic agents zolpidem (Ambien) and zalepion (Sonata). Therefore, these medications are not recommended for use in pregnancy."

Read the section on categorisation of drugs as it is really interesting. The gist of everything seems to me to be that the risk to the baby from valium or similar drug usage, must be weighed up against the risk to the baby (and to the mother) of the effects of her coming off medication. The scientific evidence appears to show that the risks to the unborn baby from a mother who may be drug-free but stressed out of her mind with anxiety and panic because of it, may be more significant in terms out outcome - premature, underweight birth and other things.

Best of luck and most of all be kind to yourself to anyone who is reading this and struggling.
TamTye likes this.
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April 29th, 2014, 07:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 2
Hi everyone I have a beautiful, healthy and very smart 4.5 year old boy! I took Valium on and off throughout my pregnancy. Mostly the first trimester too as i suffer from anxiety and depression (also social phobia) my anxiety was worse the first few months of my pregnancy. I took sometimes up to 20mg a day and sometimes didn't have any! I stopped taking them for a couple if months but at about 6 months (due to bad life experiences), I started to have panic attacks so I went back on the diazepam until about 7.5 months! I am now 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant again and still taking my Valium, about 10-15mg a day. I do want to stop but I am scared. My panic attacks get so bad I have called ambulances and gone to hospital from hyperventilating and my hands curling in, going numb, then my head and legs start to go numb.. FREAKY STUFF. In my opinion I think that would be worse in my baby than taking a few Valium I hope this helps someone xo also my doctor told me it was ok to use Valium but not In high doses and not after 7 months!

Last edited by TamTye; April 29th, 2014 at 07:51 PM.
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November 22nd, 2015, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1
I have been rx'ed Valium during my last pregnancy and this one also. I'm currently 14 weeks. I have ptsd and severe panic attacks. Before pregnancy I was on 10mg 3x day. I've weaned myself down to 10mg per day during pregnancy. No ill effects during my 1st pregnancy and I'm hoping for none this time too. If I do have a panic attack (which still happens after my 10mg occasionally) I will take another 10mg to combat the panic attack. My high risk ob said it is ok.
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