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Working Moms

I’m a new attorney and I was diagnosed with ADD about 5 years ago. I want to ideally start a family in the next few years, but I’m already stressing about how I can stop taking ADD medication while I’m pregnant and continue working at an acceptable productivity level. I know this is a question for doctors but mine haven’t engaged in a meaningful discussion with me yet since it’s years down the road. Wondering if anyone has dealt with something similar?

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Ugh, I remember with my first when my doctor told me I can’t take it. It was horrible. The withdrawal and fatigue and sickness. But I prepared myself the second time. But what got me through was caffeine, to-do lists and using my team to help with some things that I would normally do. I used pregnancy brain to get them to help me through the details but as a team player, I may take something off their plate that may not require as much focus. After the first trimester (when the key development really happens), every other week or so, I may take the medication one day. Combined with caffeine, it would get me through a couple of days. The problem is that unlike with alcohol and drugs, ADD medication being a class C medication, there just isn’t enough data to support whether or not there are long term effects of use during pregnancy. We just don’t know what will or will not happen. Personally, I wasn’t willing to take the risk, especially because I had ways around it. For now though, I wouldn’t stress it. Every pregnancy is different and you may feel like you have enough energy and focus to make it without the medication.

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I went off my ADD medication when I became pregnant and it was hard. 1st trimester fatigue plus adderall withdrawal was rough- I was tired and bitchy. To stay focused I would keep to do lists, give myself structured breaks, and reward myself when I would complete a large task. But I wasn’t as productive. I have multiple coworkers who stayed on their ADD medication throughout pregnancy with no issues. If I became pregnant again, I’d stay on the medication and find a doctor that supported same.

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I saw a pregnancy psychiatrist when I learned I had bipolar 2 the day before I learned I was pregnant (really not ideal). She was incredible and helped me navigate meds and pregnancy. I had to take an additional supplement (vitamin) to offset any potential impact to the baby ... almost 5 years later shes perfect BUT I had fierce post partum so have a resource on standby (know ADD is different but the meds are as intense as what I take and critical to keep you in good mental health during pregnancy)

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Behavioral therapy in conjunction with getting off meds before you complicate your body more with pregnancy. Just a thought. I am not a doctor

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After several discussions with my OB, she recommended I cut back as much as possible during first trimester. However, she was fine with me taking a reduced dose daily for the second and third trimesters. There was a lot of cost/benefit weighing but ultimately I decided to stay on my medication in accordance with the doctors recommendations. We have a happy, healthy 10 month old meeting all of his milestones and I have no regrets . My doctor put it in perspective, if mom is not mentally healthy and stable, that is much greater risk to the baby. Do what is right for you!

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