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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and after reviewing medications with my doctor, have decided that Lamictal is my best option. One problem, doc recommends I quit BFing my 19 month old as "the effects are unknown". I've been researching and am seeing mixed opinions. Does anyone know if this is safe? Anyone with experience breastfeeding while taking this? DD nurses once in the morning, and maybe once at night, but she's slowly losing interest. Do you think I can start taking it, say, after she nurses in the morning?<br><br>
I'm xposting this is the breastfeeding forum to make sure I get as many answers as possible!<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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well, this is a very personal choice. Lots of people would find nothing wrong with weaning a 19 month old. How often are you nursing? Weaning should be a gradual process. No matter what, you should abruptly stop. But if you're only nursing once or twice a day, it shouldn't be a big deal to wean.<br><br>
There's also no guarantee that Lamictal is going to work for you. It's a miracle for many people. but for others it doesn't work at all. So you have to factor that in. How would you feel if you weaned to find it didn't work?<br><br><br>
What are your symptoms like? How do you cope with them now? Are there some natural treatments you could explore while you wean before starting Lamictal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My last month has been absolutely horrible. I've been rapid cycling and my doctor thinks I need to be on a medication immediatly to get myself back to an even keel. Natural options at this point are, well, not really an option. My family needs their wife and mother back.<br><br>
She literally nurses once a day, right away in the morning. My main question is whether it would be ok to start medication this morning and let her finish weaning herself off naturally while I take it. I doubt I'm really making that much milk anymore anyway, it's more of a comfort thing at this point I think.<br><br>
I'm sitting here staring at the first pill I'm supposed to be taking and going back and forth, I need help!
 

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If I'm remembering correctly, with Lamictal, you start off slowly and increase over time?<br><br>
If she's only nursing once, I'd go ahead and cut out that nursing time in the next few days. Sounds like you need the meds. Offer her her other favorite beverage and maybe some cookies to distract. Read a book together instead. Keep your shirt on, better yet, wear a dress so she has no access. If all else fails, you could try not to be around at that time, maybe spend the weekend with a friend or relative.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
My DH took Lamictal for quite a while (granted, he's never breastfed . . .). Due to mounting side-effects, he quit and is now on Abilify.<br><br>
AnyMama is right about the "ramping up" for Lamictal. Since DD is only nursing once a day, a gradual weaning while you start the meds should be fine. Also, at that age, if the Lamictal doesn't work, DD might start nursing again later if you are able to nurse again.<br><br>
There are other meds to help stop a manic phase in it's tracks although they are probably far worse than Lamictal as far as the nursing is concerned. Has your DR mentioned any of these?<br><br>
--LEE
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My doctor has told me I just need to stop nursing because it would be better for me to be on this med, because it's supposed to have fewer side effects. I went ahead and took my first pill this morning, so far no side effects, and I'm going to go ahead and feed her in the morning as usual. I'll watch her and make sure she has no ill effects.<br><br>
I really don't want to quit nursing if I don't have to, and I would feel terrible if I quit and then it didn't work. Thanks so much for your help, this is just a scary phase for me.
 

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I'm wondering about a benzo. They are anti-seizure meds, and therefore can work for bipolar mood stabilization. And some of them can be taken while nursing. For instance, if you're just nursing in the morning, perhaps you could take Ativan at night and then twice in the day after you nurse. Sure it would be somewhat in your system, but not a high levels if you nursed between the night dose and the first daytime dose. And Ativan is widely used to stabilize manic patients, it's likely to be one of the first things you'd be given if you went to the emergency room in crisis.<br><br>
For your treatment to be effective you have to be on board with it all the way, not resenting that you've had to give something up. I think it's worth talking to your doctor about it s/he is probably not understanding how you feel. If you could take a benzo for a little while and get to a more stable place until you were ready to wean, that would be progress.
 

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Oh, mama, that's a tough place to be in. If it were me, I'd go ahead and wean and be on the Lamictal. Your DD may miss her once daily nursing for a while, but she will benefit long term from having a healthier mama.<br><br>
Unfortunately, the benzodiazepines don't function as a mood stabilizer and have addictive properties. They're not indicated for treatment of bipolar disorder.<br><br>
Good luck with your decision!
 

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<span style="font-family:'Comic Sans MS';"><span style="color:#0000FF;">Hope you feel better soon! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"></span></span>
 
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