Pre-pregnancy Consultation

Washington Center for Women's and Children's Wellness (WCWCW) -  - Child, Adolescent, Women’s & Reproductive Psychiatry

Washington Center for Women's and Children's Wellness (WCWCW)

Child, Adolescent, Women’s & Reproductive Psychiatry located in Bethesda, MD, Baileys, VA, Miami, FL, & Ann Arbor, MI,

Women with a history of mood and anxiety disorders are at increased risk for postpartum mood and anxiety symptoms. The decision to stop medications prior to or during pregnancy carries risks for relapse of psychiatric symptoms. During a pre-pregnancy consultation for women with mood and anxiety disorders,  we will review your psychiatric history and provide you with an evidence-based discussion about the risks of stopping or continuing your medications for pregnancy. We will also provide recommendations for managing medications across pregnancy and the postpartum (including with breastfeeding if desired). To make an appointment at our Bethesda, Maryland, office, or via telemedicine, call today or use the online booking feature.

Why do I need a pre-pregnancy consultation if I have a mood and anxiety disorder?

pre-pregnancy consultation

Although pregnancy has typically been considered a time of emotional well being, recent studies suggest that up to 20% of women suffer from mood or anxiety disorders during pregnancy. Particularly vulnerable are those women with histories of psychiatric illness who discontinue psychotropic medications during pregnancy.

Information regarding the risks of prenatal exposure to psychotropic medications is still incomplete, so clinicians face certain challenges when making recommendations regarding the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy.

Decisions regarding the initiation or maintenance of treatment during pregnancy must reflect an understanding of the risks associated with fetal exposure to a particular medication, but must also take into consideration the risks associated with untreated psychiatric illness in the mother.

Psychiatric illness in the mother is not a benign event and may cause significant morbidity for both the mother and her child; thus, discontinuing or withholding medication during pregnancy is not always the safest option.

What should I do if I have a mood and anxiety disorder and I’m thinking of getting pregnant?

Pre-pregnancy consultation for women with mood and anxiety disorders is available at WCWCW.

Women with significant psychiatric histories should plan in advance for, even if they are not currently symptomatic or taking medications. The goal is for women to become pregnant when they are feeling well and able to handle the physiological and psychological demands of pregnancy and motherhood.

With this in mind, women with histories of psychiatric disorders who wish to become pregnant seeking a pre-pregnancy consultation for women with mood and anxiety disorders are carefully evaluated and treatment recommendations are made so that they can move forward to become mothers in the safest way possible for themselves and their babies.

When should I seek a pre-pregnancy consultation?

You should seek a pre-pregnancy consultation for women with mood and anxiety disorders if:

  • You are a woman who is currently taking a psychotropic medication for a mood disorder or anxiety disorder and you have concerns about how this will affect a potential pregnancy
  • Your current psychiatrist or ob/gyn recommends a pre-pregnancy consultation for women with mood and anxiety disorders
  • You are a woman who has suffered from a mood or anxiety disorder in the past and you are concerned about whether or not you might be at increased risk for relapse during or after a potential pregnancy

WCWCW can help.

To connect with our experts in reproductive psychiatry for a pre-pregnancy consultation for women with mood and anxiety disorders, call the WCWCW office or schedule an appointment online today.