(It goes without saying, but it’s too important not to say it: I’m not a doctor and please do not consider this medical advice. This is solely from my experience taking Zoloft during pregnancy. Please seek the support of your Doctor if you are considering going on medication.)
Happy Tuesday, sweet friends! First, I need to THANK YOU all for your support on our announcement in yesterday’s post! We could not be more excited for our future in our new home.
OK. Let’s get to it. I’ve been getting this question a lot, and I wanted to share the answer on here so anyone who is in need can easily find it…
If you’ve been around here for a few years, you know that I went on Zoloft about a year and a half after the birth of my first daughter. I struggled with Postpartum Anxiety when she was about 5 months old, and while I had it under control and was doing all I could to combat it, that damn anxiety reared its ugly head again shortly after I had a chemical pregnancy.
I was done battling. I wanted my life back, so I decided to get help. It was a big step for me, and one I didn’t take lightly. (You can read more about it here.)
It was also, hands down, the best decision of my life. It helped me avoid Postpartum Anxiety after my second pregnancy. (Read more about that here.)
continue reading below…
I was on Zoloft throughout my entire second pregnancy. I had reservations, but the benefit of staying on it FAR outweighed the very minimal risk.
Sure, early in my pregnancy I had way too many late nights of Googling “Zoloft and pregnancy,” reading other’s accounts of their experience of being on Zoloft while pregnant. I was still nervous and unsure about taking any medicine during pregnancy. But, I was more terrified of what was on the other side if I stopped.
So, I did what was best for me. I stopped Googling and I took comfort in knowing that I am a better mom when I’m on something t to help my anxiety. And if it was better for me, it was better for the baby inside of me.
All along, and this is CRUCIAL, I had the support of my doctor. I shared my experience after my first baby, and that I was on Zoloft when I had gotten pregnant.
She didn’t bat an eye. She assured me that my well-being was the most important thing – for me AND for my baby. And that staying on Zoloft was the thing to do.
I was relieved.
During our Level 2 ultrasound and meeting with the genetic specialist and Dr at 20 weeks, I was told that being on Zoloft was fine. And honest, nothing out of the ordinary. I felt completely supported in my decision and didn’t think much about it after that.
My baby girl was born healthy, thank God, and I continued taking Zoloft into postpartum. I thoroughly enjoyed the newborn phase and soaked it all up.
So now, onto my third pregnancy. Yes, I’m still on Zoloft.
And this time, I don’t think about it at all. Much like working out, getting some sunshine and spending quality time with those I love, Zoloft is just a part of the whole equation of what makes me feel like my best self.
There’s an unfortunate stigma around anti-anxiety meds, especially for pregnant and postpartum mamas. We are doing a HUGE disservice to mamas if we don’t openly talk about how we can thrive in motherhood. My hope is that by talking openly about taking Zoloft, I can help at least ONE mama feel comfortable enough to reach out to her husband, her support system, her doctor and ask for help.
Taking meds does NOT make you weak. It takes strength and courage to ask for help.
A quick note about dosage. Sometimes I get asked about how much I take, and it’s tricky.
I don’t normally like to talk dosage because it’s so different for everyone. Because I rarely take medication, I started on a very low dose and saw great results. I continued on a low dose throughout the pregnancy, and as my due date approached, I started to increase the dose.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about postpartum anxiety, how I coped and taking Zoloft (or other anti-anxiety/depression meds) during pregnancy.
LOVED THIS POST? PIN IT FOR LATER! XO
Thanks for writing this! There is so much fear and shame around not feeling okay 100% of the time and your sentiments are what most of my clients come into my therapy office describe. Keep up the good work!
Jessica Strang, PsyD.
Suzanne, thank you for sharing your experience. While I never experienced PPD personally, I know friends and family whom did and many suffered needlessly out of shame for speaking up about how they were feeling. Your openness and honesty will help women not feel alone and help empower them to speak up to get help. It also helps other share your story in hopes of helping friends or family. Thank you for this!!! <3
Suzanne, as a person who has suffered anxiety, along with depression and other issues from severe childhood trauma, I want to applaud you for addressing and bringing the topic of PPD out into the open. Your courage to speak out to a society that would choose pill shaming vs dealing with a very serious issue such as PPD and Anxiety Disorder is vital. The fact that you chose to take the self care steps proactively so that you could parent your children in a healthy, stable manner speaks volumes to your mature, well informed outlook. Good for you that you did what needed to be done with your own health so as to spare your children an absentee mother as I suffered from! I would like to ask your permission to share this particular blog with my audience, on my web page. I am a mental health advocate/survivor and our only daughter is now 28. I am sure many of my younger readers could benefit from reading this content. Keep talking! Respectfully, Alice
Thanks so much for sharing this! I went on Zoloft at 6 weeks PP with my first and it was the best thing I could do for my family. I made the choice to go off of it for baby number 2, but plan to start it again the moment she’s born. There’s no shame in making a decision to create a better you. You deserve it and your family deserves it!
I’m so glad you shared this! I suffered from undiagnosed PPD and anxiety with my first two babies and I regret not getting help. I just thought that there was something fundamentally wrong with me, and that I needed to suck it up and deal. Finally, after my 3rd baby was born, I hit bottom and sought help from my OB. It has taken me a long time to admit that I’m on Zoloft without feeling like a failure, but I finally realize that it takes strength to seek help.
Girl! I discovered your blog by some coincidence while peaking through Instagram this morning! Can I just say, you are so genuine and charming. I too have my first baby girl named Harper whine spent her first year living downtown Chicago and experiencing the beautiful city! So much to do every day but I suffered with sever postpardom anxiety which took so much joy out of that period of mommyhood?. I found out I was pregnant with my second when Harper was 5 months!!! I was terrified but wanted that baby girl so badly. I feared the continued postpardom anxiety. I was too ashamed to admit. After Emmy was born, 6 months after…… I finally started my Zoloft!!!! I was a whole new mommy!!!!! So bummed I’d waited sooooooo long! Almost 2 full years of struggling while feeling the guilt of not being the best mommy and soaking this all up. This Christmas we found out we were pregnant with baby girl number 3!!! I was so scared about continuing the medicine but the benefits outweighed the risk! So relate to the late night googles and research! I have been so much more able to enjoy this pregnancy. Baby Sawyer is due this month and I have been eagerly awaiting! This is a whole new chapter. Three girls!! Happy Mama! Living in Southern Alabama these days and loving it!
I will continue to follow your blog! Love the little dose of Chicago Mama and what I miss from home and an awesome sense of style and self care to follow along with! Keep posting your no-fuss, chic Mama Style! Love it! Congrats on your little baby #3 as well!
Hi Stephanie! I am SO glad you stumbled across my blog and shared your story! Thank you for being so open – I’m sure it will help other mamas who are struggling, too. And congrats on your 3 baby girls!! That’s so exciting. So happy for you that you can enjoy it more now – Zoloft is a life-changer, for sure. I truly appreciate your support! <3
Hi there, I’m 27 weeks pregnant and after my doctor’s recommendations considering going on Zoloft. It kinda scares me but hearing more experiences like yours makes me feel more comfortable with it. However I had a question, you took it all the way through your pregnancy, after you had your baby did they or do they go through any sort of withdrawal from it? Or is what they get too small?
Hi Sadie – congrats to you! I’ve taken Zoloft throughout 2 pregnancies and haven’t noticed any sort of withdrawals from either babes. I also end up increasing my dosage as I get closer to delivery. I hope this helps! xo
Hello, thanks for writing this article. I’m nine weeks into my first pregnancy and have been prescribed Zoloft. I started lexapro but had really bad nausea where I had to go to the hospital for dehydration. Did you have any side effects starting Zoloft? I’m starting with half of 25 and then have been told to increase to 25 two weeks in.
Hi Marie – first, congrats! That’s exciting. I started with a very low Zoloft dose (12.5 mg), too, so I didn’t have any side effects. I gradually increased over a month or so. Good luck! xo
I am going through exactly the same! How did it go for you? I am due january
Can I ask how are you doing and how was your baby? Currently 20 weeks pregnant a d considering starting zoloft per my psych rec. Thanks
Hi Cecily! We are perfectly healthy and happy. I took Zoloft throughout 2 of my pregnancies and both babies were just perfect. xo
I almost feel as though God helped me stumble across this post. I suffer anxiety and panic attacks. I am currently trying and was prescribed Zoloft 12.5mg for one month and then told to increase it after 3 weeks to 25mg. When you were pregnant, did you start out on 12.5, and stay on that till you were 2 months and then increase it? Also, did you have any side effects from it when you stated it? Lastly… are you still able to have a cup of coffee with it? How long did it take on 12.5mg till you started to feel the full effects of it.
Your post was everything I needed! Thank you!!
Hi Taya! I’m so glad you found this post, too. I actually got on Zoloft before I was pregnant and right after an early loss. So I was on at least 50mg my entire pregnancy. And actually, I’ve taken Zoloft throughout TWO entire pregnancies and both babies were born healthy and are thriving 1 and 4 year olds!
When I first got on it, I started at 12.5mg for a week, then 25mg for a while and then up to 50mg. I didn’t have any side effects because I started slowly. It took about 2-3 weeks before I started to see a difference in mood, etc. and for it to “kick in.”
And yes! I still drink coffee (too much!). 🙂
Your mental health is SO important, especially during pregnancy and postpartum. Happy mama will mean a happy baby. Take care of YOU, ok?
I hope you know how much it means to have you reply and help me through this. I feel like I don’t have the support I need because no one understands in my family just how debilitating panic attacks and daily anxiety is. I’m on 12.5 right now and tomorrow will increase to 25mg. It’s so comforting to know you were on 50 your entire pregnancy! My doctor is having me stay on 25 and then increase if needed to 50mg once I’m in 2nd trimester. Seriously! Thank you so much again! I can’t wait to start feeling the effects of improvement. I’m nervous about increasing my dose tomorrow and hoping I don’t feel much of a difference. Did you feel much of a difference when you increased to 25mg?
And yes, taking care of our mental health, is SO IMPORTANT! ❤️
I hope you are feeling better! I didn’t feel any difference when I upped my dose because I went so slow… xo
Hi! Thank you so much for writing this! I suffer from OCD and depression and my doctor just prescribed me Zoloft 50 mg and I’m so hesitant to take it because of the risks ? but I need to do good for him! I’m also on antibiotics right now but the doctor said it’s safe to take with antibiotics. I hope I’m making the right decision! I’m 25 weeks!
Hi Morgan! Congrats! I’ve now taken Zoloft throughout two pregnancies and both babies were happy and healthy 🙂 Take care of you and in turn you’re also taking care of your baby… xo
So thankful for your blog! I just found out I’m expecting baby number #2- super excited but need to manage my anxiety/depression. I was on Zoloft 50mg a few months after my daughter was born but I felt like it wasn’t helping much. Do you think trying it again at a higher dose would be beneficial? I’m just nervous that’s a high dose? I have to wean off Ativan now and just need to feel better!
Hi Rana! Congrats! It goes without saying that I’m not a Dr, so I can’t give dosage advice/instructions, but I can let you know what I did! I increase/decrease my dosage often, depending on what’s happening in my life and how I’m feeling. I tend to feel a difference after a few weeks. I would talk to your Dr about increasing before you do, but it’s worth trying! Good luck! xo
Thank you so much for this! I have literally been on Zoloft for 16 years now. As a teen, I had crippling anxiety to the point where I struggled to leave the house. I am 6 weeks pregnant now and I am overjoyed, as this pregnancy was very, very much wanted… but I’m also terrified after all the negative things I’ve read on line. Reading them actually sent me into a panicked spiral which in itself was a problem! When I talked with my gyno, who I’ve known for years, she didn’t even bat an eye. She said she didn’t mind me being on Zoloft at all. I’m on 50mg and she said if I was super worried I could lower to 25mg, but it was my choice. She said all the negative studies are so inconclusive anyways. As you said, a woman will suffer through anything for her child, but the suffering can be harmful as well. She told me my mental health is still important. I’m still scared, honestly, but I know I just need to trust my dr, and seeing something like this was so helpful as well. Thank you!
Hi Ana! First, congrats! That is so exciting. And I was JUST like you – Googled everything and all of the scary stories made my anxiety so much worse. Now having 3 kids, I can tell you that I don’t Google ANYTHING about motherhood anymore. YOU know how best to take care of you and your baby. YOU are the expert. Rest easy knowing that what’s best for you is best for the baby. And no more googling. 🙂 xo
Thank you so much for posting this.I’m 24 weeks and for already 2 months suffernig terrible insomnia .I also lost interest in eveything that used to make me happy , have very little energy for my son .Also with covid – 19 and everything about it I am very anxious , so I’m thinking of starting to find some kind of help.I already tried CBT ,but it didn’ t really help as I think my state is caused by chemical imbalance of hormons.So I guess I shall to try with zoloft .I feel much calmer reading about your experince even though I like you googled every single thing about using it in pregnancy.Thank you once more for your help.It truly is a help.
I’m planning to get pregnant. I’m on Zoloft 50mg and scared to get pregnant. Can I take the pills on the first trimester?
Hi Zain – please speak with your Dr! I can’t get medical advice, but can only share my experience.
I’m so happy I stumbled across your post! I became pregnant quickly after an early loss. I’ve always had some form of mild anxiety, however, was able to manage through exercise and other tasks. When I became pregnant the constant fear and anxiety I was experiencing was more than my norm. I would Google everything and was always so nervous something negative was going to happen to my baby. At 20 weeks my therapist recommended I try Zoloft. I was started on 25 mg for one week and increased to 50 mg week 2 and have been on it ever since. I am now 30 weeks pregnant and enjoying my experience more. I was and continue to be hesitant because of the constant fear of it maybe causing developmental delays, autism ect even though there is “no definite link”. But the worry and guilt is still there. So to hear you have healthy and thriving children really made me smile and feel a bit better!! Glad to know I’m not alone. Did you have that fear or has anyone else feel/felt the same??
Hi!! Omg I am so happy I came across this post. I have struggled with anxiety and panic most of my life and I am only 26 years old. I was on Paxil for 10 years and found out it wasn’t safe for pregnancy and that they are safer alternatives like Zoloft. I just started Zoloft after finding out I am 5 weeks pregnant. I noticed increased anxiety, heart racing since starting. Did you experience these side effects and did they go away? Thanks!!!
I started right on 25 mg by the way!
I want to thank you for this! I am
29 weeks and 5 days today and woke up and made myself sick crying and cancelling an appointment due to fear from anxiety. This weekend the amount of panic attacks I had was unbearable and after being curled up in a ball
On the bathroom floor this morning hysterical I made the decision to reach out to my OB. I told her that I have ptsd and always struggled with anxiety but the last week I feel like I have spiraled and all the work I’ve done just went away. My doctor was so comforting and stayed on the phone with me for a half hour until I calmed down and was ok. She told me that I’m not alone and although right now you are trying to be protective of your baby the best thing for your baby right now is to get me the help since it will most likely get worse once the baby arrives. She did a questionnaire on me and she said normally if you score less then a 10 they start you off just in therapy but I do therapy weekly and I scored over 20 so she felt for the safety of me and baby it was the right thing to do. I have no started it yet as I just got the prescription and plan to start tomorrow but she also told me To give it time to work. I just want my life back. I want to be able to not live in fear when I leave my house, I want to be able to get off my couch and not be so miserable! Reading this assured me that what I’m about to do may be the best thing for me
And also help me as a mom When baby arrives. Anxiety sucks and with the pandemic the doctor said she has seen more and more and said 10,000 Americans take Zoloft either during there pregnancy or while breastfeeding so that’s a lot of people and they wouldn’t put that many babies at risk. Am I still scared, Yes, but do I feel when it starts to work and I get my life back I’ll feel
Differently Yes! So thank you for easing my mind and allowing taking this prescription tomorrow am
Be a little easier for me since I told my doctor I hate to even take Tylenol bc I hate risking anything and something going wrong with baby. Pregnancy is not easy and I don’t know if I could do it again so I envy those
That love pregnancy and have great experiences since mine has been such an obstacle but I’m
Grateful for you sharing this with me
Today and beginning my Zoloft journey .
Thank you! I’m so happy I came across your post!! After months of trying and being so excited that we finally conceived, I had a miscarriage two months again and found out recently I’m 5 weeks pregnant again! All my levels look good, but my progesterone levels were a little low so my dr prescribed me progesterone to take every night. Which in turn caused my anxiety to increase majorly. so my dr put me on Zoloft today, I took it for the first time and felt instant guilt and started googling and then all the negative articles made me panic. And then I came across your article, which brought me so much comfort! I’m honestly still nervous, but I feel hopeful and know that my untreated anxiety will not do either of us any good. So thank you!
Hi Cassadie – I’m so glad you found the post. Congratulations! That’s so exciting. And YES – if I’ve learned anything about motherhood, it’s that our kids need us to BE OK. So, focus on that. Take care of yourself, and you’re taking care of your baby. <3
I needed this, so I’m thanking you from the bottom of my heart. It wasn’t until my daughter had just turned two that PPA hit me like a ton of bricks. Fast forward to a year later of being on 25mg of Zoloft and I felt great- like myself again.
I recently decreased to 12.5mg and finally stopped taking it because my husband and I would like to expand our little family. I though it’d be best for my body to be “clean” of any medications and I felt guilty and uneasy about the whole idea of being on Zoloft while pregnant. Unfortunately, I am experiencing mood swings, irritability, and the anxiety is starting to kick back into gear. After “googling” what I should do and still being unsure and uncomfortable about my decision, I wanted to read someone’s personal experience of being on Zoloft throughout pregnancy and I came across your blog. I now feel a sense of relief and it’s great to know I’m not alone in the process. I want to be here for my toddler and for my husband without being constantly anxious and quick to anger. I now feel much better about my decision for a safe pregnancy, a healthy baby, and to feel confident that I’ve made the right choice for myself and my well being. Thank you so much.
before I found out I was pregnant I was taking Prozac and then my doctor switch me to Zoloft 50 mg 5 weeks into my pregnancy and was wondering if that is considered ok. seeing that you started at a much lower dose now I’m worried i appreciate and glad that i found your post because it bring me little comfort
I would personally try 25mgs at first and then go to 60 in a few weeks if the 25 doesn’t seem to help much. Also the op was on 50mgs with her pregnancy she just started at a lower dose but raised it as she got further along and needed more. I’m on 50mg right now too and my Dr wasn’t concerned at all about it , she hasn’t even said anything after I told her and she actually prescribes it for me right now. Have confidence in your decision and try not too worry too much. Best of luck to you and your baby ?
Sorry I meant 50 not 60
Hello, I’ve been really having a hard time for the past month. I’ve always been an anxious person and never dealt with it. About a month ago, my body alerted me that I needed to do something and I had my first panic attack ever! After that I was afraid to go anywhere because I was terrified that I would end up having another panic attack. I developed tension headaches for a week and a half and they caused me to be even more anxious which led to me having another panic attack and I had to go to the ER. After that, my doctor prescribed me Zoloft. I’m terrified to take it. I keep reading the side effects and it scares me! My husband and I have been trying for 8 months for our second baby. I’m terrified if I start taking this that it will cause issues or it will cause issues once I do get pregnant. My doctor recommend me to take it every other day for a week and then take everyday thereafter at a 50 mg dosage. I just want to let you know that your story really gave me peace of mind and if you have any other advice, I would really appreciate it!
Hi Courtney. I’m so glad the post helped you. My biggest tip is to follow your doctor’s advice. And just remember…our babies need us to be OK. 🙂