On Bei Bei Shuai & How We Don’t Help Pregnant Mothers With Depression

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pregnancy depression, antenatal depression, depression during pregnancyA pregnant woman tries to commit suicide. She lives. Her baby does not. Now Bei Bei Shuai is being charged with murder.

Yesterday on Babble, I wrote about how our society speaks out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to pregnant mothers and depression. We want a pregnant woman to stop all medication for depression and anxiety so she can protect the health of her baby, despite the known risks of untreated depression and anxiety during pregnancy to the fetus. And then, if, God forbid, something goes wrong, we threaten to send her away for the rest of her life as is the case with Bei Bei Shuai.

Stop treatment, but don’t do anything wrong. It doesn’t make sense.

Here’s an excerpt:

While not everyone needs medication for the treatment of antenatal or postpartum depression or anxiety, those of us with moderate to severe cases sometimes do. Having gone through severe postpartum depression and OCD with the birth of my first child, I chose to stay on my antidepressant medication during my pregnancy with my second. I knew there were risks. Risks to my baby girl for taking any sort of medication while pregnant, and risks to us both if I had become depressed and anxious during my pregnancy. When she was born, I’m happy to say she was just fine, and I didn’t experience PPD at all the second time around. I would have preferred not to have to take any risks at all. I love my darling girl. But I had to think of my family and my firstborn as well, and how he would have been affected had I suffered PPD again. How she would have been affected had I had depression while pregnant. How both of them would have been affected had I killed myself.

I hope you’ll go read my piece and let me know what you think.

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About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

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  1. That is such a hard decision to make. How much risk is too much risk for mom or baby? Stay on or go off meds? It’s really tough and everyone’s situation is different.bbim glad everything turned out well for you and your baby.