Pregnant woman with schizophrenia and depression-help required

My 34 year old sibling has depression, maybe even schizophrenia, and she is 5 months pregnant now. She was on Zoloft for a few years but stopped medication couple of months before she became pregnant. What assistance does she need now? Which medications can/must she take now before pregnancy?

How at risk is the child? What can be done between now and her due date to reduce passing on any bad genes/effects to the child?.



4 Replies

  • The doctors will have advised her about medication. Herself and the doctors may have deceided to do without meds, and when she goes for anti-natal appointments they will check how she is coping.

    The real work will be in supporting your sister through difficult times when she does get depressed, esp if she is off her medication while pregnant/breastfeeding.

    Don't know if you live near your sister, but there may be times when she wants some practical and emotional support to get through stressful times.

    In the years to come any child needs good role models in how to deal with life's problems, so if you can do so, be there for the child, just beware of ''taking over'' from your sister, that will not be welcomed.

    sorry but meds are not the only answer, though some are safer than others, but that is a decision for the mother and doctor.

  • thanks a lot for the advice, will keep that in mind and try and be supportive.

  • If I was in your sister's position I would really appreciate it if you asked me what you could do to be helpful or supportive. This will respect her as an individual and support her right to make her own decisions about her health and that of her child, it will empower her which can only be a good thing. I applaud your willingness to investigate how to support your sister but drugs are not a solution, they are at best a way of making the symptoms bearable but this always has to be balanced with what can be some very considerable side effects and these are never uniform- they vary from person to person. This is part of the reason your should ask your sister about her experience of her mental illness and understand that she is the expert at being herself... not even the doctors will have as much experience of her body and mind as her own life long, day by day experience. If you want to find out more about what it is like to suffer mental ill health I suggest that you have a look at the blogs on this web site:

    I hope that helps :)


  • thanks a lot for all your valuable advice Kate, the only problem is my sister also is below average in intelligence and cannot make most decisions by herself. will check out your website for more info, thanks again.



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