All antidepressants carry some risks. Some antidepressants are much less likely to harm your baby than others. Some antidepressants may increase the risk of mild effects in a newborn, such as a slightly lower weight at birth, mild breathing problems, irritability and feeding problems. Some antidepressants may increase the risk of certain birth defects or your baby being born before its expected date.
If you are taking antidepressants during your pregnancy, your newborn may need to stay in hospital for an extra few days, so that doctors and midwives can watch for any signs that the medication is affecting your baby. Read more about the risks and benefits of taking medicines for mood, epilepsy or pain.(external link)
Lithium – if you are on lithium therapy, this should always be managed by a maternity mental health team during pregnancy.
Sodium valproate – if you are a woman of childbearing age and could possibly get pregnant, you should avoid valproate, if possible. If you use it during pregnancy, there is a risk of harm to your unborn baby, as well as long-term developmental disorders once they are born. If valproate is the best choice for you despite this, you need to understand the risks. Talk to your doctor about this and how to make sure you have effective contraception so you avoid an unplanned pregnancy.