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rapunzel2

Has anybody been pregnant while on drugs/in withdrawal? How was the baby?

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rapunzel2

The question is in the subject line - have you been pregnant while taking drugs? Why was it? What dosages? How did the baby turn out?

 

Or have you been pregnant while in withdrawal? How was it? How did the baby turn out?

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Rosetta

Yes, I have a healthy 6 year old.  I worry for her future, but for now she's doing as well or better than her peers.  If she has a heart condition, we have seen no sign at all.  She does well in school, and she has no behavioral problems.  She reads above grade level.  I worry all the time that she will have problems someday, and I would not have wanted to take the citalopram while pregnant knowing what I know now.  However, my little girl has been considered by her teachers from all 3 years of preschool all through Kinder and until now in First Grade to be perfectly normal.  

 

I did not know about ADWD when she was born, and I didn't know I was going to experience this horrific nightmare that is WD.  She was my first child, and didn't know what was normal or not.  After what I have endured, I "know" she had WD.  I can't imagine any human not having WD after going cold turkey.  What I don't know is whether she had symptoms of WD as a baby or even today.  

 

As I think back a few symptoms she had stand out.  I can't definitively say they were WD symptoms.  The baby is building a brain, too, and there are many strange things babies do and bizarre symptoms they have that don't seem worrisome only because they are babies.

 

She had some allergic reactions to mosquito bites between the ages of 6 months and 2 years that were not life threatening.  Now that I know SSRIs are antihistamines, I wonder about that.  Now, her reaction to mosquitos is less intense than it used to be before she was 2.  She did not have an intense reaction to a bee sting when she was 2, but the mosquito bites still cause a small, red, raised welt.  The welt isn't as large as it used to be, and it doesn't break open into a sore as it did before.   

 

She has no known allergies otherwise.  I did not vaccinate her, and I shudder to think what that might have done to her at the age of 2 months while she was in withdrawal.  I did not vaccinate her at birth either -- Hep B -- the nurse pestered me 4 times to give her that vaccine on her first day of life.  In fact, I have never vaccinated her, but if I do, I'll be glad it will be long after withdrawal is likely to affect her.

 

I was on 60 mg of Citalopram when I was pregnant.  As a baby she seemed fine.  She had an APGAR of 9.9 out of 10 when she was born, and she was never in any distress at birth.  She nursed within an hour.  She only lost about 7 ounces before she started to gain again.  She weighed 4 lbs 8 oz at birth, and was born 10 days early.  She probably had some WD symptoms that I didn't recognize as such when she was a baby, but she's a very healthy now.  

 

As a baby, she slept fine as far as I could tell.  She slept with me, and I nursed her on demand.  She would nurse in the night and go right back to sleep.   I was lying down to nurse her at night, and she didn't have "colic" at night.  

 

I thought she had colic in the daytime because of how much and hard she cried.  Now that I have experienced full blown withdrawal, I wonder if there was more to it, but she did stop crying as much when I changed my nursing position.  I began nursing her while lying down in the daytime.  That seemed to help her avoid getting as much air in her tummy.  She still had colic like symptoms, but they were not as intense.  So, I can't say the "colic" was a sign of WD or not.  I'll never know, but she cried a lot more, a lot harder and for longer than many babies I have seen.  Now that I understand about serotonin and the gut I wonder . . .

 

When she was awake as a newborn, she was very alert.  People commented on how alert she was at the age of 2 months to 4 months when I was at the hospital everyday with my grandfather.  They thought she was much older than she was.  That makes me wonder if her autonomic nervous (fight or flight) system was normal.  Now that I've been in a constant state of fear for days on end I wonder about her being very alert when she was awake.  Was that WD?

 

Up until she was about 6 months old her arms moved seemingly on their own, and it upset her a lot.  She would cry and cry unless she was swaddled.  So, I swaddled her, and she was happy.  Now, after what I have experienced, that arm movement sounds to me like Akathisia, but a lot of babies are happier if they are swaddled.  They all seem to move in a way that would be considered abnormal if they weren't babies.  Their brains are developing after all.  So, I can't say this was definitely a sign of withdrawal.  

 

It's true she couldn't sleep unless she was swaddled.  So, I kept her swaddled for sleep until she started turning over even though she was swaddled.  At that point, babies can suffocate if they can't turn back over.  (I put her in bed on her back.  Babies can turn from back to front earlier than they have the ability to turn front to back.  Of course, with her arms pinned in the swaddled there was no way she could have turned back over.) I kept an eagle eye on her to catch the moment she turned onto her front side.  Then, I stopped swaddling her unless I could be with her every second.  I don't remember when she started sleeping without the swaddle.  

 

As to being pregnant while being in WD, I can't attest to that.  I was probably experiencing tolerance to Citalopram before I was pregnant.  Maybe that's a form of WD? I don't know, but I was not well.  I had a lot of brain fog, anxiety, and I was manic.  My husband says that my health was much better during the last 3 months of my pregnancy and the first 6 months after my baby was born than before I got pregnant.  However, while I was pregnant I was not in full blown withdrawal of the kind I have experienced these past 10 months.

 

The night my baby was born I was switched to 10 mg of Zoloft as the OB thought it was safer for nursing.  I did not sleep for about 3 nights after giving birth.  Then, I started sleeping better and eventually I seemed to sleep normally, but I became very sick within a year.  I was ok, more or less, for at least 6 months after the birth.  Then, I became more and more ill, and the doctor kept raising the dose.  After I fast tapered Zoloft, in Feb of 2017, I had a 5 month time period after the initial insomnia before I started having the worst WD symptoms.

 

Supposedly, the nursing baby doesn't get much Zoloft.  She gets more Celexa such that it can be detected in her serum.  If that's true, that means my baby didn't even get the Zoloft that I did.  She was cut off at birth.  It seemed to me that the Zoloft covered up my WD symptoms that I should have had from the CT of Celexa, but there's no way for me to know If that's how these meds work or not.

 

I hope this helpful and doesn't scare you.  I continue to hope the meds did no harm to my child.  All the evidence so far points to that conclusion.  Any study like the one from Finland tells us nothing.  It's a correlation, nothing more.  I like to think that women on SSRIs are more likely to take their kids to the psychiatrist and that to a psych doc every person is seen as abnormal and needing meds.  That would explain why the kids whose mothers took the poison have ended up diagnosed as mentally ill.  I wish there could be more and better studies that had real answers, but it's not likely we will get those anytime soon

 

Rosetta

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Rosetta

Oops, my baby was 6 lbs 4 oz at birth.  It was me who was 4 lbs 8 oz.

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rapunzel2

Thank you, Rosetta, I'm so grateful for your thorough reply, it means a lot to me! I do believe your child is unharmed. The brains are still developing and can grow over the harm, I think! 

It's very saddening and maddening that you were not told of any risks (on the baby and about withdrawal) before, isn't it. 

I think it was smart choice not to put any more substances into her body right after birth. Maybe you saved her brain. 

I find it odd that they switched you from 60mg celexa to 10mg zoloft at birth, they do not seem equal doses for me at all, no wonder you had to raise dosage. 

 

Again, big thanks!

 

And looking for more answers from others! 

 

 

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Rosetta

Rapunzel,

 

You are right that 60 mg Celexa and 10 mg Zoloft were not equivalent.  I suppose that if doctors believe these meds stay in the system for up to 6 weeks and if the second med is started at the same strength as the first med they could have a fear of inducing serotonin syndrome.  People on SA and who switch drugs get information from this site about that issue.  I don't know anything about it, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there is a legitimate fear of serotonin syndrome when switching meds.

 

Maybe I should be grateful if it's true that my daughter stopped getting ADs after birth.  If Zoloft did not go through the breast milk she might be luckier than if I had stayed on Celexa and she received that for a year or two.  I don't know.  CT could not have been a good thing for her, but I didn't know about tapering anyway.  I doubt the dose she would have received would have been the same in gestation as in breastfeeding.  I try to think back to how she reacted when she stopped getting Zoloft in the breast milk, but nothing stands out.  She's been a normal kid for an only child.  Of course, I feel these drugs shouldn't be given to women who might have children, period.  It's absurd.  They shouldn't be given to anyone at all quite frankly.

 

If you are interested here are more of my thoughts:

 

My medical plan/insurance has me seeing different doctors all the time.  My OB for my pregnancy was constant, but he was not assigned to the delivery room or recovery room for me.  My medical plan doesn't allow an OB to follow a patient from pregnancy through to delivery and recovery.  I had an OB I had never seen before deliver my baby and yet another I had never seen before in the recovery wing.  It's an assembly line care system.  I never saw that recovery OB again and getting a psychiatric appointment takes 4 weeks or more.  She scared me, of course, by bringing up the subject, and I trusted her to know what she was doing.  Back then I trusted the dirties to be working in concert, taking good notes, and be knowledgable.  Ha!

 

In fact, my primary care doctor (GP) changes all the time.  They move them from office to office constantly.  They never get to know their patients and the patients are technically allowed to follow their doctors, but that is often impossible due to the distance the doctor is moved away from the patient.  It might be a half hour or hour drive to stay with a particular Doctor. I suspect it's that way for psychiatrists and psychologists, too, but I have no use for them now.

 

I suppose that even if doctors understood ADWD the OB who suddenly meets a pregnant woman and finds out she's on ADs would have a tough time helping her through WD?   I've considered all the possibilities, of course.  Am I glad the gestation OB didn't tell me to quit cold turkey or on a fast taper?  Do I wish he had?  I don't know.  There is no way to know what might have happened if I had done that.  

 

I did have a very good first 6 months with my child.  Perhaps that would not have been possible if I had stopped the drug quickly upon becoming pregnant.  Who knows?  We had another 1.5 years before I became unstable and another 2 years before extreme confusion and irrationality set in.  Those are very important years for a child.  We bonded well.  She knows she is loved by me.  Maybe these past 2 or 2.5 years have been easier for her because of that early time we had together.  I hope so.

 

I do worry that I became somewhat distant because of confusion and OCD when she was 2 or 3 (as the dose of Zoloft went up.) She's been intermittantly clingy with me when I try to drop her off at school this past year and a half.  She never did that at the preschool.  She started preschool at 2 1/2, and she loved it all the way through to 4 years old.  She went to the same preschool for 3 years and had the same teacher for the second and third years.  That may have given her stability despite my erratic emotions and behavior.  If not for that maybe there would have been more signs of an issue.  For the first half of kindergarten and this initial first half of First Grade, she has found it challenging to let me go at times.  Yet, she's never had much separation anxiety once I leave her at school.  The teachers have always denied that she continues to be upset. I have to hope that she's going to be ok.  

 

At least I wasn't absent or in bed all the time, and I wasn't abusive thank God.  The awful ways these drugs affect some people!!   I do continue to wonder what mechanism caused me to go downhill 4 years after the birth.  Did the high dose of Zoloft cause side effects that resulted in increased confusion and OCD?  Did I hit tolerance?  Is that why I had so many WD symptoms while I was still taking Zoloft?  Was it all caused by WD from Celexa catching up with me?  It could be a combination of all three.  I'll probably never know.  

 

I also wonder if I hit tolerance while on Celexa or if I missed some doses and destabilized my systems.  I had a fair number of WD symptoms during my last few years on Celexa that I used to believe were side effects.  I could learn and pass tests, but I had erratic moods and became confused sometimes.  I believe the meds affect blood sugar even if they are taken on time and consistently.  If so, that could explain a lot.

 

Rosetta

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Purplerain
On 08/01/2018 at 11:31 AM, rapunzel2 said:

The question is in the subject line - have you been pregnant while taking drugs? Why was it? What dosages? How did the baby turn out?

 

Or have you been pregnant while in withdrawal? How was it? How did the baby turn out?

 

Hello, I got pregnant unexpectedly while trying to come off of Effexor. Because my relationship and living situation were unstable at the time, I made the decision to remain on a tiny dose of Effexor (1 quarter of a 37.5mg tablet) throughout pregnancy rather than come off it altogether and risk a terrible withdrawal. I went back up to a maintenance dose a few days after giving birth. My baby was born completely healthy. I was, however, strongly advised by a paediatrician who I saw two days after her birth to stop breastfeeding her, which broke my heart. I could not ignore this advice as I obviously know how toxic this drug is and would never forgive myself if something ended up being wrong with her. However I believe it all worked out the way it was meant to. She slept through the night from 6 weeks old, which I know a breastfed Baby wouldn’t do. The sleep helped me regain my stability enough to cope - the first year of her life was highly stressful due to my relationship with her father, which has now ended.

 

My little girl is two and a half years old now and has hit all her developmental milestones, most of them earlier than her peers. She is an incredibly bright, caring and funny little girl. I will say though, as the previous poster also said, that as a newborn (up to 3 months old) she certainly cried a LOT, longer and harder than other babies, and was often seemed unsettled and uncomfortable. I believe this was a combination of mild withdrawal and being formula fed from two days old - formula obviously being harder to digest than breastmilk. Interestingly, as Rosetta said about her own baby, mine was also very alert when awake. I was always being told from the start that she seemed very knowing, like an ‘old soul’. Strangers would stop me in the street in amazement. I don’t know if there’s necessarily a link with ADs here as my mother tells me I was exactly the same as a newborn and she never took meds. But it is interesting that Rosetta’s baby was also this way. 

 

I would like more children in the future and that is my incentive for tapering off Effexor totally now. I never want to be pregnant on meds again, the risks are just too great and I don’t want to again be robbed of the chance to feed my baby naturally. A friend of a friend recently gave birth to a baby girl born with a heart condition; she was on Seroquel and an AD (not sure which) throughout her pregnancy. The doctors had told her it was no problem to be on all these meds while pregnant. Maddening!

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