Are any anxiety meds okay while nursing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-27-2011, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I am committed to continuing nursing regardless, so no worries...but I would like to know if there are any prescription meds for anxiety that are okay to take while nursing.  I have tried Rescue Remedy (over-the-counter homeopathic spray), but did not find it helpful.  I know there are things such as yoga, general mindfulness, deep breathing, etc.--those things do help, to a small extent, and do cover most situations for me.  However, there are times and situations where I am in bad enough shape that I wanted to see if anyone had ideas.  Prior to the pregnancy, Klonopin worked wonders for me.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions!  Thanks!

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#2 of 10 Old 01-27-2011, 06:21 PM
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Anyone who's read my other threads knows I'm a complete bundle of neurotic nerves and angst, so I feel you when you say you want something to take the edge off. Nothing's worse than a persistent feeling of dread.


Having said that, the only anti-anxiety medication I could find that was considered "safe" for use during pregnancy (and I'm not a doctor!) was BuSpar (aka buspirone) It's rated a Category B, so in theory it's not as bad as Klonopin (Category D), which I've also taken in the past. Trust me, I miss it too. My info on BuSpar comes from and


Now, having said that, BuSpar DOES pass into breastmilk, But, since it's category B...that might be okay? Or at least, not-as-bad? I'm not sure. Everything I've read says the most common side effect is drowsiness. I'd talk to a  psychiatrist and a regular MD just to be sure, but that's my two cents.


If you wanted to keep trying the non-med-route, have you looked into DBT? Dialectical Behavioral Therapy has been shown to be pretty darned effective in taming a whole boatload of psychiatric issues, and we use it with some of our hardest cases at the psych hospital I work at. I use a few tips and tricks from it myself - if you can get yourself into the right mindset, it might be worth a try.


Hope that helps!

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#3 of 10 Old 04-26-2011, 01:07 PM
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Hi there :)

This is also not medical advice as I am not a doctor, but I also have some anxiety/panic issues and although I take Klonapin for panic attacks, I also take Zoloft daily and that's really helped reduce my overall panic attacks! Also From what I've heard/read SSRIs like Zoloft are okay to take while breastfeeding. Hope this helps, I know you posted this a while ago. 


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#4 of 10 Old 05-30-2011, 03:02 PM
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Wow. Really? There have actually been HUGE class action lawsuits recently against the makers of Zoloft and other SSRIs specifically with regard to pregnancy and breastfeeding. Zoloft and other SSRIs like it are Class C drugs.



Originally Posted by amberbirthdoula View Post


Also From what I've heard/read SSRIs like Zoloft are okay to take while breastfeeding. Hope this helps, I know you posted this a while ago. 



Personally, I have suffered from extreme anxiety and depression for which I was prescribed massive amounts of psychotropic drugs in the past (Zoloft among them). I changed my diet and cut out all of these drugs, turning to whole and natural foods and talk therapy to overcome it, in addition to changing my environment in many other ways. I can't even imagine taking such things now, let alone now that I'm pregnant and will be breastfeeding. I've been labeled an extremist though and I can completely understand why some people feel that way, especially because so many people are on these drugs these days (in my opinion because of the insidious capitalist nature of the pharmaceutical industry) , but as someone who has been there and worked very hard to eliminate these from my life, I can tell you that, for me, it was possible and I am so grateful that I don't take them anymore.


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#5 of 10 Old 05-30-2011, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by amberbirthdoula View Post

Hi there :)

This is also not medical advice as I am not a doctor. 


Sorry for the ot post, but is this kind of stuff normal now that mdc is different? Obviously you're not here to talk to a doctor - this is an internet forum. It's not like somebody's gonna sue you for giving the wrong advice. Just curious. I have seen it several times in the last week.

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Moving past many years of infertility and always thinking of my friends in the infertility forums.

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#6 of 10 Old 06-02-2011, 09:02 AM
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I have serious anxiety issues that have caused me to be on medical leave since my son was born 12/3/10. I'm due to go back to work at the end of this month if all goes well. My doctor prescribed me Cymbalta and told me it was safe to use during nursing. When I got home from her office, I opened up the Cymbalta and read the paper that came with it that has all the info about side effects, etc. The MAKERS of the drug mention in this paperwork SEVERAL times that it's not recommended to take during nursing unless the need severely outweighs the risk to the infant. My doc told me none of this. If I hadnt read through that, I could have been taking something harmful to my baby. So dont always trust doctors (I'll be finding a new one soon). She also prescribed me Lamictal, which I refuse to take. I havent bothered to look up its safety for nursing because I wont take it regardless.


What I've learned is that meds, for me at least, are not the answer. I work on slowing down and trying to think more logically rather than going with my emotions. When I find myself so anxious and tense that I'm tip-toeing around my house for no reason, I make myself stop. Taking long deep breaths while counting them helps me to slow down. I also leave my house to spend time with other people, that helps me a lot too. My anxiety is worse when I'm home alone.

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#7 of 10 Old 06-04-2011, 10:48 AM
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I'm not a doctor either, but I wanted to sympathize and share my story. I was on a small amount of Prozac when I got pregnant with my first daughter and went immediately off it when I found out. I amazingly had no anxiety through that pregnancy but about 24 hours after giving birth, I had a massive panic attack (that was fun in the hospital!), so my midwife put me on Zoloft. She started me on 50 mg but I found that was a bit much and went down to 25mg. She told me it was the most researched SSRI when it came to breastfeeding and interactions and that it was generally very safe. It was a lifesaver. I nursed my first DD on Zoloft for almost 3 years!!! She was completely fine and is a healthy and happy and brilliant 4 year old. I just stayed on the Zoloft because it was keeping me very even... when I found out I was pregnant with DD #2, I went off it. However, after my first trimester I started having some anxiety and insomnia and my midwife pretty much insisted I go back on it. My darling DD #2 is a month old yesterday and is healthy and happy too! I plan to stay on the Zoloft and continue to nurse. In my opinion, it's better to have a healthy and happy mommy than to worry about the slight risk of side effects. I feel really confident that my fairly conservative midwife would not have allowed me to take something unsafe for my baby. Don't suffer needlessly, is the moral of the story. Do what works for you and don't listen to people who would judge that! Good luck... I have definitely been there. :) -Erin

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#8 of 10 Old 06-06-2011, 03:52 AM
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Hi - I am reading from Hale's Medications and Mothers' Milk that Klonopin is a L3 drug - moderately safe while breastfeeding, to be accurate with the answer then we need to look at the dose of the drug that you are taking, how often etc;, then you can take this to your Dr and discuss it with them, PM if you would like some more figures and information.

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#9 of 10 Old 07-23-2015, 09:21 AM
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#10 of 10 Old 07-27-2015, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Birch12 View Post
How do you find doctors who will prescribe Klonopin AND allow you to breastfeed at the same time? I know Infant Risk Center says its's safe in small doses and ladies here are taking it and breastfeeding their LOs. But most doctors are unwilling to prescribe Klonopin to people with anxiety even when NOT breatsfeeding! I am suffering from severe postpartum anxiety and I have to suffer in silence because of that.
First of all, I suffered severe postpartum anxiety & depression with my last baby - I was a mess, and know how awful it feels!! But if you treat the underlying causes, you will balance out your body, and the condition will go away without drugs.

One major cause of PPD & related disorders is extreme post-natal depletion. See this article for a very detailed description:

Nutrients like iron, magnesium & B complex are typically very low in the postnatal body. Herbs like ashwagandha & motherwort can be very helpful in replenishing and balancing - and the healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be. (there is a documented link between PPD and infants' failure to thrive - makes total sense, given the powerful mother-baby connection.)
See a naturopath to assess your nutritional deficiencies, and prescribe appropriate supplements. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can do wonders - after birth, our liver chi (qi) is very depleted, our "blood is weak", and this can create all sorts of nasty depression/anxiety, headaches/migraines, tremors, weakness, etc. Find practitioners who understand how to treat the emotional imbalances of these conditions...they can literally be lifesavers.

You have just done a miraculous job of creating and nourishing a new human being, and now YOU need some nourishment!! Please remember, this not only refers to physical nutrients, but spiritual and emotional nourishment as other words, take care of yourself, make time to relax and decompress, get your partner on board with your care, LOVE YOURSELF as much as you & your baby love each other.

As described in a favorite book of mine by Louise Hay, called "Heal Your Body", emotional disturbances manifest as physical/psychological ailments...your thought patterns have the power to change your life, for the positive or negative. Anxiety is created by not trusting the flow and process of life. She recommends saying an affirmation a few times per day, and/or anytime you're feeling anxious: "I love and approve of myself, and trust the process of life. I am safe."

@Birch12 , and all you mamas out there who are dealing with this, I send you much love - and remind you that YOU have the power to manifest your own healing, not the doctors and drug companies. I did it, with help and loving support - so can you.

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