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BFing and Psych drugs, what do you know? :(

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I haven't looked into this much, because I just always figured "they don't mix, so don't bother researching it." Also, what can I say, I'm depressed and exhausted, so the last thing I wanna look into is this, but I am worried I may not be able to tough through like I thought I would. I know the best person to ask would be a doctor or psychiatrist, but I know if I ask, it's gonna start the sequence of, "go to this doctor, now fill out this questionairre," and I know it's gonna end with multiple appointments, money spent, etc etc.


This is definitely a lifelong issue for me, my depression, anxiety, etc. I won't go into the story of my life!!! But right now, it's beyond fish oil and amino acids from a naturopath.


Right now I am about to have our first baby, and hitting a pretty low point with my depression and anxiety. It's been a steady decline the whole pregnancy, actually the past couple years since I've been off meds. The past 4 months have been the worst. Prenatal depression is what it's called? Don't know, because I am not willing to take anything right now. Maybe it'll be better after I give birth, but if it's not, I was wondering what you guys know about my options while breastfeeding?


Even if something is considered safe-ish, like say, an SSRI while BF'ing, I honestly will probably not want to do it, if the med goes into my milk. If there are meds that don't cross into the milk, that would be great, but I'm doubtful there are.


So I was wondering what kind of other schedules or ways of getting around this you all know about? Like for moms really suffering. Can you freeze a few months' worth of milk in the beginning and BF with no drugs until 3 months, then use frozen milk the rest of the time so you can take the meds? Are there any other options I am not considering?


I definitely do not want to START on formula, that's not an option. Is breastmilk with an SSRI mixed in after the 3rd month still better than formula? I feel like maybe I can survive 3 months....but 6 seems like too much, if this continues.


What would you recommend?


I hope this gets better. Right now I am using coffee as somewhat of an antidepressant.....just to get me to even get out of bed. That is about as good as it gets right now, but I'm too depressed and anxious to do much else. :(

post #2 of 8

I'm sorry you are strugging with this.  I would suggest checking out this book, The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Dr.  Jack Newman.  He is a huge proponent of breastfeeding even if you are taking medications and he talks about how much of the drug actually ends up in your milk, and he discusses medications that are better than others.  Depression is a very serious thing and you don't know if it will get worse or better after the baby is born.  You need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby.  I would, of course, also suggest talking to your doctor or midwife who is caring for you during pregnancy.  They can be a great place to start and they may be able to prescribe something without having to see a psychiatrist.  My medical system has pregnant moms fill out a questionnaire about depression so I assume they must be concerned about it.  I hope you can find a plan that works for you and that the rest of your pregnancy is healthy.  Take care.

post #3 of 8

call the infant risk hotline. If you google infant risk it will pop up.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much... Will look into both. The book sounds like just what I need to make the decisions
post #5 of 8

Take the meds. Take them now if you need them. I had horrible prenatal depression and had to take my lamictal in large doses. I continued after my babies were born. It wasn't an option not to. You can definitely find something that you can take that has been shown to be safe. Even with a drug that goes into the milk, the amount that a baby will get is very minimal. It's hard enough having a baby when you actually feel well. I wouldn't hesitate to talk to the doctor right away.

post #6 of 8

With many medications, it is better to breastfeed and take the medication than to formula feed. The benefits of breastfeeding (and the risks of formula!) outweigh the risks of medication.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 





Lamictal is the drug I would really like to take. It is pretty much the only thing that has worked for me in the past. What did your doctors tell you about taking it during pregnancy and breastfeeding, if you don't mind?


Did the prenatal depression get better after giving birth? Or was it hard to tell because you were already on Lamictal?


I am due any day, so I am going to wait and see what happens after the birth.


But if this continues, I should probably go on something. We are hoping (and yes, I am hoping) to try for baby number 2 within 6-9 months of delivering baby #1, so I keep thinking what's the point of going on something if I will then have to stop it once pregnant again? Just feeling very confused on what the right thing is to do.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

ps--I'll look into the book too! Thank you

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