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Can you safely take antidepressants while nursing?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have ppd. I have not been "diagnosed" but I know I have it and I have had it for months. I have not seen a doctor for it because I don't want to take antidepressants. I don't want to risk Meadow having any side effects from me taking medication. Anyway, I am tired of feeling angry all the time and I want to feel normal again so I am just wondering if antidepressants are safe while nursing. If they are I will make an appointment but if not then I will just keep dealing and hope to return to normal again someday.

Thanks,
Amy
post #2 of 26
Amy, s mama. I'm sorry that you're feeling like this.

There are antidepressants that are safe to take while nursing; there are several of them. You should definitely go see someone to get some help, there is help out there. Women on this board take several different ones and if in doubt, call a local LLL leader and ask her to look it up in Hale's (or you could post here and someone could type it up for you). I think Dr. Sears might have a list on his website too (I'll go check and if he does, I"ll link you).

Also, your DD is probably old enough not to be that affected by the meds (I waited until 6 months post-partum before starting meds; I couldn't make it longer than that). And I have to say, as much as I resisted, they really have helped a great deal. I'm not angry all the time, I don't lose it over one tiny silly thing.

Good luck, I hope you find something that works.
post #3 of 26
Zoloft is rated safest. For a list of others go to www.kellymom.com and there is a whole list of safe meds.

I had to take zoloft after both my kids longer with #1 than with #2 but I am so thankful that there are safe meds to take now. I dont know what I would have done without it.
post #4 of 26
Yes you can take them.

I am on Zoloft and dd and ds have no side effects. The first week I thought that we all were more tired but that did not last..

Check out medications and mothers milk it will give you more info.
It think it list antidepressants as follow for safty..

Zoloft
paxil
celexa
effexor

However my docotr told me that paxil has been removed from the list related to withdrawl s/s in babies

Also is is important to know that Prozac and St. johns wart are NOT to be used during BFing
post #5 of 26
I am currently on Celexa and have been since DD was 1 month old. I have not seen any adverse reactions in her, and our midwives, doctor, and therapist all said the amount of Celexa that would get through my daughter through breast milk was insignificant. I hate that I have to take meds but they help me feel normal. Good luck mama!
post #6 of 26
hi there,

i'm sorry you have been suffering for so long. I hope that you find the relief that you need and deserve.

i began taking zoloft when my ds was 2 months old. i hated the idea of taking medication, and i really hated the idea of passing them onto my son through breastmilk. but i do feel confident that it is more beneficial to treat the illness and continue breastfeeding rather than not treating or treating and quitting bf'ing.

that said, while i do contribute my feeling better to the medication, i also know i wouldn't be feeling this much better without the talk therapy i have been getting as well. i really think a combination of meds (when needed) and therapy is key.

reaching out means you are that much closer to feeling better already. don't stop reaching out and talking about it.
post #7 of 26
I too have PPD and I have researched in Hale's books, I have found that the hierarchayfor safe medications is starting with Zoloft and ending with Prozac. It depends on how depressed you are what you will be given. I started with some Motherwort (with is safe) and when that didn't work I went the medication route. For me personally Zoloft and Welbutrin were a joke. It didn't do anything. I still felt like not getting out of bed most days. I am currently on Prozac. I know that it is the least safe drug, but I am on a 10mg dose. It doesn't appear that DS is bothered by it, and I feel great. I would for sure recommend talking to your doctor if you are still feeling this way several months after delivery. Depression is hard on everyone, the baby included so I think that its better to take something that he may get a bit of, but not be harmed by than continue to be depressed and upset around the whole family.
I hope that you and your family can come to a solution that is right for all of you!
post #8 of 26
Hi Amy

I can relate to what your feeling, I had ppd after the birth of my 4th son ~ awful anxiety & panic attacks, as well as OCD. Not fun. I finally gave in after 6 months and decided to try Zoloft but I had a bad reaction to it, so I went off and tried something called CNE by TrueHope ~ it takes awhile to kick in but it did work.

I'm now pg with #5 and started having anxiety & panic attacks again, bleh. So I read everything I could get my hands on, knowing that Zoloft was the most recomended but also knowing I couldn't take it. My doc and I decided to go with Welbutrin and it has been *wonderful*, no scarry side effects & over all I've responded really really well. I was reading on Kellymom's website and she said that it had a high milk to plasma ratio, but in reading on Dr. Hales website he says that the clinical dose via milk is not too high so I'm going with that lol

Good luck in deciding, it IS a tuff choice but when it works it really is a God send.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by marschgator View Post
I too have PPD and I have researched in Hale's books, I have found that the hierarchayfor safe medications is starting with Zoloft and ending with Prozac. It depends on how depressed you are what you will be given. [...] I am currently on Prozac. I know that it is the least safe drug, but I am on a 10mg dose. It doesn't appear that DS is bothered by it, and I feel great.
Marschgator thanks for sharing this on here. I have been looking around searching for some info on mothers' experiences with Prozac. I am on it right now (20 mg) and have heard/read conflicting info on it's safety for bfing. Your experience supports some of the positive things I've heard about it (e.g., a recent research study).

I wish I had more info on Prozac and bfing. If there is concern about the amount transferred in breastmilk, I'm wondering if one feeding a day of breastmilk, and the rest of formula might be a way to help baby get some of the goodness that comes from bm, but not have too much of the meds? I wish I had some resources to help me determine if this would be the case.
post #10 of 26
I did my homework and talked to some LC's back in the day (dd is almost 5 now) and the end result I came to was that the amount in BM is very small and with the beauty of BM it is also passed through the baby quickly. I can't remember what I was taking, but the other med was Neurontin. I bf-ed on two meds. My dd didn't have any troubles and dd is very healthy and intelligent.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
Marschgator thanks for sharing this on here. I have been looking around searching for some info on mothers' experiences with Prozac. I am on it right now (20 mg) and have heard/read conflicting info on it's safety for bfing. Your experience supports some of the positive things I've heard about it (e.g., a recent research study).

I wish I had more info on Prozac and bfing. If there is concern about the amount transferred in breastmilk, I'm wondering if one feeding a day of breastmilk, and the rest of formula might be a way to help baby get some of the goodness that comes from bm, but not have too much of the meds? I wish I had some resources to help me determine if this would be the case.
http://kellymom.com/

This is where I have been directed for the best info on the subject.
post #12 of 26
I took Lexipro and it was fine. Just fine. There are also more natural remidies if you want to try them. Try talking to a homeopath, I got some really good stuff for bi-polar. Calms me down right away.
post #13 of 26
I have been on zoloft during all three pregnancies and postpartum with nursing all three of my little ones. None of them have exibited any negative side effects and the benefit to me being stable minded is of great benefit to them and myself.
post #14 of 26
I JUST got off the phone with my doctor. I had PPD with my 3rd baby and I feel like I'm getting it again. And he said that the new studies show that you can't take any antidepressants while nursing. That they are ALL contraindicated. I don't know what to think. But I'm pretty bummed because I really wanted to start something and continue nursing. So I'll wait it out.
post #15 of 26
Welbutrin is also safe.

Have you tried rescue remedy (I found out you can even give this stuff to kids and birds - birds are especially sensitive to what they ingest - so are kids)

Sheal
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackray View Post
I JUST got off the phone with my doctor. I had PPD with my 3rd baby and I feel like I'm getting it again. And he said that the new studies show that you can't take any antidepressants while nursing. That they are ALL contraindicated. I don't know what to think. But I'm pretty bummed because I really wanted to start something and continue nursing. So I'll wait it out.
I think it's so frustrating because there is so much conflicting information out there. And when you are feeling desperate or low, and you need to make an important decision about something in the face of such uncertainty, it can feel so....scary, frustrating, powerless, etc.

I hope you find some resolution and peace in the upcoming months.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackray View Post
I JUST got off the phone with my doctor. I had PPD with my 3rd baby and I feel like I'm getting it again. And he said that the new studies show that you can't take any antidepressants while nursing. That they are ALL contraindicated. I don't know what to think. But I'm pretty bummed because I really wanted to start something and continue nursing. So I'll wait it out.
JFYI, even Peppermint oil on the label says not to use if you're breastfeeding! You really have to talk to a LC or LLL Leader, not your general Dr.
post #18 of 26
I don't know what studies that dr. is talking about. The ;latest studies show that ssri's are VERY SAFE in nursing.

Talk to a psychiatrist or OB. Not a general dr. They know the meds best.

nak, sorry for typos. I'm on 50 mg, btw with no ill effects. Babies are both fine my 2 year old nursed with me on zoloft for 19 months. He's great!
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ackray View Post
I JUST got off the phone with my doctor. I had PPD with my 3rd baby and I feel like I'm getting it again. And he said that the new studies show that you can't take any antidepressants while nursing. That they are ALL contraindicated. I don't know what to think. But I'm pretty bummed because I really wanted to start something and continue nursing. So I'll wait it out.
Your doctor is NOT correct. (I stopped short of a UA violation, but that kind of advise REALLY REALLY steams me because it means that women and children who NEED help are not getting it.) Please seek out an OBGYN with more updated information, or a psychiatrist. Actually, I recommend a psychiatrist because they are MOST up to date on the meds, the side effects, which ones are contraindicated which ones are not, and which dosage levels are usually seen.

General doctors tend to prescribe a starter dose and then not check up on people. A psychiatrist will follow you to make sure that you're at the dosage you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emese'sMom View Post
I wish I had more info on Prozac and bfing. If there is concern about the amount transferred in breastmilk, I'm wondering if one feeding a day of breastmilk, and the rest of formula might be a way to help baby get some of the goodness that comes from bm, but not have too much of the meds? I wish I had some resources to help me determine if this would be the case.
What I've read about Prozac is that it is the BEST thing for being pregnant, and it's LESS preferred (but not contraindicated) for NEWBORNS. It looks like you're nursing a 2 year old. In some newborns, Prozac has been suspected to cause sleepiness, so that's a thing to watch out for.

In your shoes, I'd talk to your doctor about staying on the Prozac and then either carefully monitoring the new baby when they're born, or switching to Zoloft or something that's a bit better for newborns.

My personal experience
I was on Paxil shortly after ds was born (it's #2 or #3 for bfing moms). I breastfed him for 16 months, 12 of them on Paxil. He's now 6 and doing really well.

I went back on Paxil shortly before I got pg with dd. She was gestated, delivered and nursed on Paxil. I'm still on it (though a much lower dose than while pregnant - pregnancy messes with my brain chemicals in some really awful ways). She's still nursing. She's 3 1/2.

BOTH of my children are healthy, happy, smart (if I say so myself) and well adjusted. Part of the reason that they pretty well off emotionally is because I've been on meds. They are at or above their age level in cognitive development.

Remember that it's not just an equation of no meds = no risk. If you are depressed and not treated, then there is a risk to your child's development that has been well demonstrated. Thus, you have to weigh the risk of no meds with the risk of meds. The best research suggests that little or none of the SSRIs like Zoloft get through to the breastmilk. But we're still lacking long term studies of babies who've been breastfed on meds.

My bottom line: If you're mildly depressed, I'd seek out alternative remedies first. But if those don't help, or your depression is moderate-severe, my weighing of the risk/benefit ratio falls on the side of medication.

It's not a failure of will, mothering or moral fitness to seek out medical care for depression.
post #20 of 26
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