Pregnancy and Psychiatric Medication
by patricia.deegan on Monday, March 13, 2017 - 10:43am

Each month we add a new homepage in our Recovery Library. I am particularly proud of this month's topic, Pregnancy and Psychiatric Medication. I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Julia Frew at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover New Hampshire. Dr. Frew is a psychiatrist with a specialization in mental health and women's reproductive health. In addition to a comprehensive understanding of the scientific literature, Dr. Frew has also worked with many, many women to help them successfully deliver healthy babies. 

Making the choice to use or not use psychiatric medicine during pregnancy is tough. Each woman (and her partner) must explore their options and weigh the risks associated with medication, against the risks associated with medication withdrawal and the possibility of becoming unwell. Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach, Dr. Frew embraces shared decision making. In this way she is able to help each woman (and partner) arrive at the best decisions about how to proceed with treatment during pregnancy. Even if deciding not to use psychiatric meds during a pregnancy, Dr. Frew emphasizes remaining connected with the care team in order to learn various strategies for managing anxiety, depression, etc.

One of the reasons I created Recovery Library with my team here at PDA, is because this type of recovery-oriented, accessible information is simply not out there. Too often people just assume that those of us who have been diagnosed simply will not have children. We don't agree and want to empower our peers and allies with reliable knowledge to make informed decisions about many things, including pregnancy and psychiatric medication.