Breastfeeding - Need Meds! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-01-2003, 03:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been depressed and in denial for a very long time, and I am finally getting motivated to go to the doctor and request medications. Much of the reason I haven't done it up until now is that I'm breastfeeding. I have heard that Zoloft is the only antidepressant "proven" to be safe for b/f. So I figured that's what I'll be asking my doctor for. From what I understand there just haven't been very many studies done, and the ones that have been done are so small that they can't tell us much. Have any of you taken antidepressants while breastfeeding? Max is nearly 2, so he doesn't nurse quite as much as he used to, but seriously, he still nurses at least 8-10 times a day. I have absolutely no idea how much milk he is even getting these days, I could try pumping to get a bit of an idea I guess... So, is it silly for me to be concered about this? I just want to feel happy again, and to actually have a life and be motivated - I know I will be a better mom, so that should outweigh any doubts, but I still worry... any advice or stories to share???
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#2 of 6 Old 10-01-2003, 11:57 AM
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I live near the University of Iowa and there is a doctor there doing an ongoing study of antidepressants and breastfeeding. I know several mothers who have been on several meds and have participated in the study. In a nutshell, their results have been that the medication shows up in trace amounts in their breastmilk, but has been undetectible in the baby's blood.

I personally know women who have breastfed on Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, and others that I can't remember. I even know one mom who went through her pregnancy and breastfed on one of the older tricyclic antidepressants. Different doctors will give you different answers about which one is the safest, but they are all considered safe. I will go back on Zoloft after my baby is born because it worked well for me. It is fine to request an antidepressant, but just remember that not all ssri's work the same for all people. Zoloft might work great for some, but may not work for you. Don't be scared of some of the others if one doesn't work well for you. It's all in our body chemistry. Use what works well for you, and don't worry about it.

I'm glad to hear that you are getting help, depression is such a hard thing to live with. Keep us posted on how you are doing, and seriously, don't worry about the breastfeeding. You will both be fine.
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#3 of 6 Old 10-01-2003, 12:34 PM
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There are lots of options! But most doctors won't know about them. Here are some links so you can get the information you need and provide it to your doctor:

Hale on antidepressants and bfing

AAP approved meds for bfing moms

Finding good information on meds and bfing (reference books etc.)

Good luck, mama.

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#4 of 6 Old 10-12-2003, 10:12 PM
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Jane, thanks so much for the info. I have been hesitating to go back on Zoloft, even though I can feel the seasonal depression coming back with a vengeance. Now that I have this info, I feel better about it. I went off it as soon as I felt able last year because I was concerned about the effects on my infant. As with anything you take, you have to be careful and only take what is necessary.

Wendi, you have to do what is best for you and your situation. If you can't function as a mom, you are not doing anyone any favors by not going on antidepressants. It made all the difference for me last winter.
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#5 of 6 Old 10-18-2003, 12:53 PM
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Just wanted to add my support to you. I have had problems with depression for over 2 years now, and have been taking Prozac since before I became pregnant (took all through pregnancy and now breastfeeding). I am currently nursing my 10 month old. I notice if I forget to take it there is a big difference in how I feel, so I know I need to still be on it. For myself, I have found that any small risk of passing the medicine on to my son through my milk is less than me not taking good care of myself or able to act as a good mom. Good luck and I hope you start feeling better soon!
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#6 of 6 Old 10-18-2003, 01:10 PM
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