PARENTS

Amanda Seyfried Took Antidepressants While Pregnant

She's taking care of herself and her baby.

07/24/2017 11:36 EDT | Updated 07/24/2017 11:36 EDT

There's plenty of judgment about the things moms-to-be put into their bodies, but topping that list is probably medication — and particularly, medication for mental health.

But for Hollywood star and new mom Amanda Seyfried, there's no shame in taking antidepressants, and that holds true during pregnancy as well.

"I've been taking Lexapro for years and years and years, and I didn't get off of it," the actress told pregnancy podcast Informed Pregnancy in July. "I was on an extremely low dose."

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Actress Amanda Seyfried arrives at the premiere of 'The Last Word' on March 1, 2017 in Hollywood. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images )

Seyfried, who has battled anxiety and OCD since she was a teen, has been very open about her mental illness in the past, telling Allure in 2016, "I don't see the point of getting off of [Lexapro]. Whether it's placebo or not, I don't want to risk it. And what are you fighting against? Just the stigma of using a tool?

"A mental illness is a thing that people cast in a different category [from other illnesses], but I don't think it is. It should be taken as seriously as anything else."

That mindset has carried forth into parenthood (her daughter with husband Thomas Sadowski was born in March), with her noting on the podcast, "A healthy parent is a healthy kid."

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Actors/husband & wife Thomas Sadoski and Amanda Seyfried attend the 2017 World of Children Hero Awards on April 19, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

And that's exactly the attitude the medical community has taken with regards to antidepressants during pregnancy.

"A decision to use antidepressants during pregnancy is based on the balance between risks and benefits," notes the Mayo Clinic. "Overall, the risk of birth defects and other problems for babies of mothers who take antidepressants during pregnancy is very low."

The site also notes that leaving depression untreated during pregnancy can lead to poorer care for both the baby and mother, due to a general loss in energy and self-care.

Overall, the risk of birth defects and other problems for babies of mothers who take antidepressants during pregnancy is very low.Mayo Clinic

Of course, there's no guarantee there will be no side effects when taking antidepressants, and some mothers choose to go off their medications over the course of their pregnancy, and sometimes postpartum as well.

Dr. Emily Dossett, who specializes in reproductive psychiatry, notes on the Informed Pregnancy site that many people don't know enough when assessing what to do while pregnant, and speaking with your doctor is imperative.

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"I think we best serve women by giving them all the information we have that's up-to-date, and then really letting them make their own choices. And I've seen it — I've seen women in very similar situations make completely different decisions about what to do.

"I also try to emphasize that there are many strategies for managing mood or anxiety disorders beyond medications, including psychotherapy, increased social support, and moderate exercise."