Depression during pregnancy is a risk factor in itself. According to Prescriber’s Letter, Paxil use by the mother can cause birth defects and should be avoided during pregnancy. In fact, for mild depression, counseling is now preferred over drug therapy. For severe depression, other drug therapy is still recommended. I would be cautious about herbal therapies, many of which act like drugs. But nutrient therapies, if carefully monitored might be a safer choice than drugs for treating most depression. We like to use various amino acids, such as 5 HTP, while measuring neurotransmittors to be sure that levels are therapeutic, not excessive.
See Prescriber’s Letter (click here,supscription required) October, 2009, vol. 16, no. 10, p. 56.