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PPD and breastfeeding

540 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  turtlewomyn
Does one have to quit breastfeeding in order to get better? The docs at my hospital seem to think so. I work on a med/surg floor at a hospital and we had a woman, 1 wk postpartum, come in as a patient. I was told in report that there was a pump in the room that they thought she was using, so I encouraged her to use it, set her up with the supplies, etc. She seemed pleased to get the help. Later, I read in the chart that she was stopping bf'ing, so I asked her about it. "Dr X said that I should just take care of myself now." Does it have to be one or the other? I know there are meds that are bf'ing compatable. I dunno, I just feel like she would have been helped more by support for bf'ing AND support and tx for the PPD, rather than just for the PPD.
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Speaking from my personal experince as well as another medical professional...Three months ago I experienced a beautiful vaginal birth of a 6 pound 14 ounce baby girl only to wake up three hours later in the ICU with no recollection of what took place when I got up to use the restroom. According to my delivery nurse, I went unconcious in the restroom and began to seize as a result of eclampsia. I was on a Mag Sulfate drip and 24 hours later had spinal headaches as a result of a wet tap during my epidural.

As if that wasn't enough...My daughter stopped breathing briefly during her first bath and was taken to the NICU for treatment. I was determined that since NOTHING else was going my way, I was at least going to breastfeed to provide her with something that I knew only I could do for her. I will attest to the use of breastfeeding as medicine in itself because of the power it has to make you feel like what you truly are....The most important person in your baby's life.

I will never forget the first time I got a whole 8 cc of colostrum at one time. My sister put a cap on the bottle and walked it straight to the NICU to feed it to Gracie while it was still warm. She said when she walked in with it the RN was clapping and said "YEAH!" That little piece of information gave me the strength to deal with four more days of headaches, tests, and procedures.

Throughout our weeklong hospital stay, My mother and sister helped me pump every two hours while I stayed laying completely flat. I know without a doubt, that even though I can't tell Gracie someday that I was there for her first bath or diaper changing...I will tell her with pride that I was busy making her milk.
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It is possible to breastfeed with PPD, even with taking meds. In fact, I would think would help out a bit, what with all of the feel good hormones that are released while nurse, at least for some women. Here's a great link with more info and links.
Thanks guys. That's what I thought too, and what I remembered from when my kids were babes. These docs around here just really bug me-it seems they will use any excuse to say mom needs to stop bf'ing. I had one doc, when mom was in our hosp with an infection of the c-sect incision, say "well, she's SICK! Of COURSE she can't breastfeed!!" And looked at me like I was crazy for even suggesting that she need not be dumping her milk.
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Originally Posted by monkaha
These docs around here just really bug me-it seems they will use any excuse to say mom needs to stop bf'ing.
I've encountered that too. Add personal bias to a total lack of breastfeeding education and that's what you get. It stinks.

I went to a behavioral therapist to get support and a bit of a 'refresher' course on dealing with some long-standing PTSD and anxiety type issues without meds, knowing she could remind me of the many tools available for this kind of issue. She didn't offer me any of them. She spent the entire session focusing on why I was still breastfeeding my eight month old baby and writing down a plan for getting him used to a bottle so I could switch him to formula. Pumping, forcing a bottle on him and then weaning... oh, yeah, I'll be much more relaxed going thru all that AND still dealing with my PTSD that you didn't help with, thanks Doc!!

I keep the note she wrote me that outlined the anti-breastfeeding plan, just to remind myself not to put up with care that doesn't meet my needs.
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I have PPD and PTSD and I am BFing (dd is 6 mos old). I am not on meds, just talking to a therapist right now. BFing gives me pride and makes me feel better about the c-section I had when I really wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth (I didn't feel like I could control that, but dammit, I am not giving up on breastfeeding, no matter how many doctors tried to ruin it for me - peds, OB, etc.). Oh, and I am in the process of getting better.
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