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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A pregnant friend of mine says she has to use formula because she has to go back on prozac after the baby is born and is not comfortable with any antidepressants passing through her breastmilk, even though she knows many do it safely. (By the way I know nothing of this topic so if anyone thinks this is not an informed decision, please let me know and I will try and help educate her.)

This got me to thinking about the awful formula companies and just thinking of ever having to use formula makes me cringe.

My question is, how do people use formula while having the smallest impact on supporting the awful formula companies? Are some formula companies not as bad as others in all the promotion/pushing? Is it a futile attempt?
 

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I use Earth's Best, mostly because it's organic, but also because they don't market their product aggressively. I don't use formulas from companies who provide formula bags or have sent me coupons or samples.
 

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Well, there are safe antideppressants out there for BF. Zoloft and Lexapro.

I ended up using formula with my first child and for me I purchased the generic brand at Sam's club. For one, I felt that since the generic brands aren't advertised I wasn't supporting their marketing. I got more for my money.

This time around I had better success and am EBF Emily
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do you think you could talk your friend into at least looking into a milk bank for donor milk? or do you (or she) know anyone who would be willing to pump (and have any screenings she might want to be done for health/safety reasons)?

i don't know much about the anti-depressant thing, other than that my friend sucessfully bf'd both her kids w/out incident while on an anti-depressant (not prozac). she really should look into it more before dismissing bf'ing, IMO. there are loads of women who are doing this. think of all the women who have PPD and have to go on anti-depressants while nursing. i think there are lots of them that are considered OK - she should discuss it with either the doctor that prescribed it in the first place, or her ob/gyn or m/w to see what they have to say.

does she know about the benefits of bf'ing as far as helping to stave off or lessen the effects of PPD? with a history of depression i'd think that would be extremely important to her.

as to buying formula but not supporting formula companies... i'm stumped there. particularly if her child ends up being sensitive to certain types of formula and needs to be on a special one. some kids only tolerate one type. that's hard to tell until the baby's here.
 

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I am EBF my second child and I have been on prozac for almost 20 yrs with a few times off to try others...(gosh that makes me seem old!) and my Midwives and OB doc have never had any issue with me on it...saying that it's perfectly fine...

I would agree with a PP who said to avoid the companies who agressively market the product...
 

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She shouldn't just look at the possible risks of the meds in her milk, but the serious risks of NOT breastfeeding. Google "Dr Thomas Hale" and you'll find his medications & mother's milk forums. He has loads about prozac, and also zoloft. Prozac is safe, and zoloft is safer. By safe and safer I mean, the risks of NOT breastfeeding far, far outweigh the risks (if any) of breastfeeding on the med. Kwim? You can also go to www.drjacknewman.com, I believe a chapter of his book on meds while breastfeeding is on his web site, if not I'm sure he'll gladly email it to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the suggestions!

Unfortunately, she would not consider donor milk.

I know she has a lot of misinformation as she has made lots of false, negative bf comments to me before she was pregnant. I will do my best to work on this educational information with her from Hale and Newman. Thanks for the information. I hope she is willing to give it some thought and talk about it with me. (The information in my original post is all she would tell me when I asked if she planned on nursing.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by smeep View Post
She shouldn't just look at the possible risks of the meds in her milk, but the serious risks of NOT breastfeeding. Google "Dr Thomas Hale" and you'll find his medications & mother's milk forums. He has loads about prozac, and also zoloft. Prozac is safe, and zoloft is safer. By safe and safer I mean, the risks of NOT breastfeeding far, far outweigh the risks (if any) of breastfeeding on the med. Kwim? You can also go to www.drjacknewman.com, I believe a chapter of his book on meds while breastfeeding is on his web site, if not I'm sure he'll gladly email it to you.
I thoroughly agree w/ what this person said. People seem to feel like formula is perfectly safe and since the drug only comes w/ a "safer" label, formula is the best option.

She should call someone who has a copy of Medications and Mother's Milk to look up her drug and give her the info, either an LLL LEader or an IBCLC. In the book, Dr. Hale discusses the risks of not breastfeeding vs. taking the medications.

How luck that baby is that the mom has you as her friend.

Good luck educating her!

Sus
 

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Sticking my nose in to say that while there are indeed anti depressants that may be used safely while bf'ing, they may not be effective for the mama. My MIL went through five different anti's before she found one that worked for her. When you're dealing with these kinds of meds, it's important to remember that what works for one does not work for all, and the simplest solution is not always the easiest one. Perhaps (sounds like?) this mama is preparing for post partum issues, and that's not something to take lightly.

I agree with the posters who suggested using formula, when necessary, from companies that do not aggressively market their product.
 

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I might get flamed for this but I'll put it out there anyway - the Weston A Price foundation has a recipe for homemade formula that is probably much better for baby than any commercial formula. It is based on raw cow or goat milk (from a safe source of course) and before anyone hollers about bacterial contamination, just pause for a moment and remember alllll those formula recalls we've heard about.

Yeah, it'd take some work, but if I had to give formula again and if I had a raw milk source available, I'd use it for sure. One mama I know used this when her milk dried up due to a surprise pregnancy and she said it wasn't as much work as it looks. AND... no money goes to any formula company anywhere.

http://www.westonaprice.org/children/recipes.html

ETA: I have to say it sounds like the mama in question is looking for a reason not to bf, a reason that nobody can talk her out of. BF'ing obviously doesn't appeal to her. To the OP - by all means try to educate her, but please be sensitive to the possibility that she might have some issues about her body and specifically her breasts that she'd need to deal with before bf'ing would be an attractive (or even bearable) option for her. Unfortunately in our culture many women have very damaged body concepts and this is a very real (and often overlooked) barrier to bf'ing.
 

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I might have some useful information about the safety of prozac during breastfeeding. Please pm me for the information.

It's not too easy to switch meds when it comes to this type of medication. If you're lucky enough to find the one that works for you, you don't want to play around with it.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by smeep View Post
You can also go to www.drjacknewman.com, I believe a chapter of his book on meds while breastfeeding is on his web site, if not I'm sure he'll gladly email it to you.
I actually emailed Dr. Newman about this... my SIL was on Prozac before becoming pregnant and was concerned that she couldn't breastfeed. Her doctor gradually switched her to Zoloft, which has worked for her - might not for everyone. But in case it didn't work for her, I got the info from Dr. Newman, and he basically said it would still be better than using formula. You can email him yourself for a good, authoritative answer - he is awesome about answering emails quickly! And a lot of people consider him to be the authority on bfing and medical-related issues. maybe giving your friend the info straight from him would be helpful. But some people, strange as it is, will only believe what their particular doctor tells them and won't listen to second opinions
 

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First thing I would do is pick a non-Nestle brand. If possible, I'd get an organic one. One of the major brands has an organic formula out, I saw it in the store recently (I was with my mom getting formula for my foster brother--mom just gets the Similac gentle-ease they had him on when he arrived), that's probably more affordable than Earth's Best. The only situation I could concievably imagine ME being in a situation to buy formula is the same one as my mom--as a foster parent, which would definitely preclude bf'ing or donor milk since it's up to the state and/or the bio parents, not the foster parents. Relying on WIC would further limit brand choice, I'm not sure how it works for formula except whatever brand they have you down for is the only one you can use WIC to get, and it's best to use the same kind rather than switching back and forth between different types of formula, especially when they're small.
 

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There are really two questions here: antidepressant use while BF, and how to formula feed, if you have to, without supporting these awful companies.

I personally think she's making a poorly informed decision to FF because of antidepressant use. There are only theoretical risks to BF on meds, and very real, verifiable risks to not breastfeeding.

For those who truly cannot breastfeed, or need to supplement, the first choice is donor milk. If that's not an option, or there isn't enough available, you could look into homemade formula based on raw cow or goat milk. That eliminates the formula company entirely. Another option would be to use "Baby's Own toddler formula". They only make "toddler formula" because they don't want to discourage women from breastfeeding (plus it's less paperwork for them) and I would have absolutely no qualms about supporting that particular company.

Neither of those options would work for a foster baby- the decisions are not fullly your own and you could lose your rights to the baby for not feeding a conventional, official infant formula. It also should go without saying that with an infant who cannot be fully bf, and doesn't tolerate the formula you're using, you should use whatever formula the baby can tolerate, regardless of what company makes it. The baby's health goes ahead of corporate/consumer ethics.
 

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Info:
http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/...hale10-02.html

Info from Dr. Hale via his forum
http://66.230.33.248/discus/messages...tml?1170087672
It starts with the OLDEST information, and as you scroll down is very recent.

If your friend has an amazon.com account (free!), she can view books with the "look inside" feature. She can "look inside" Medications and Mothers' Milk (2006) and look up the meds herself.

I, too, would urge your friend to call her LLL Leader or an IBCLC for support.


There is LOTS of information out there
 

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I agree with the PP that said it sounds like she's looking for an excuse not to BF. For me personally, when I stopped BFing my oldest it made my depression WORSE. Prozac is considered safe to take while breastfeeding. I personally consider it 1000 times safer than formula feeding.
 

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I EBF my baby until he was 7 months old- I have been working full time since 12 weeks PP. Around month 7-8 I had a supply drop that fenugreek, blessed thistle, multiple pumping sessions couldn't help( I was pumping 5-6 times/day and only getting 15 oz-baby demanding 20-25)I also visited a LC who said that I did have a good supply, just sometimes at that point pumping volumes can decrease. At that time I started doing one bottle of Earth's best organic formula/day. I figured at least they don't agressivly market and its organic. I would rather not have to supplement but since I do I'd rather it be organic and not a major brand(simalc,goodstart,enfimal)
 

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I am really sad that some posters feel the need to speculate about this woman's motives and that some feel so certain that she's "looking for excuses."

PPD is very real. Depression can be devastating. While some antidepressants are compatible with breastfeeding, many are not. Trying out new antidepressants instead of sticking with what you know works for you can be a terrible emotional and physical rollercoaster as you deal with side effects and the new drug just plain not working. After doing my research with Hale's and consulting with my doctor, I decided to stick it out until I weaned instead of trying to find a new antidepressant. The effects of not being medicated during my pregnancy and a year of nursing are something I have to deal with now. I am glad my depression was mild enough that I could nurse my son for a year. But I would NEVER pretend to know what another woman's issues were and if she was using her depression as an "excuse." Really, the judgment here is sad.
 

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I'm going to move this to Life with a Babe, since the Lactivism forum isn't really the place to speculate on or criticize an individual's reasons for choosing not to breastfeed (please see the "Lactivism: What we are about" sticky at the top of the Lactivism forum).

However, I'm also a moderator in Life with a Babe and will stay subbed. Let's play nice, please!
:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
There are really two questions here: antidepressant use while BF, and how to formula feed, if you have to, without supporting these awful companies.

I personally think she's making a poorly informed decision to FF because of antidepressant use. There are only theoretical risks to BF on meds, and very real, verifiable risks to not breastfeeding.

For those who truly cannot breastfeed, or need to supplement, the first choice is donor milk. If that's not an option, or there isn't enough available, you could look into homemade formula based on raw cow or goat milk. That eliminates the formula company entirely. Another option would be to use "Baby's Own toddler formula". They only make "toddler formula" because they don't want to discourage women from breastfeeding (plus it's less paperwork for them) and I would have absolutely no qualms about supporting that particular company.

Neither of those options would work for a foster baby- the decisions are not fullly your own and you could lose your rights to the baby for not feeding a conventional, official infant formula. It also should go without saying that with an infant who cannot be fully bf, and doesn't tolerate the formula you're using, you should use whatever formula the baby can tolerate, regardless of what company makes it. The baby's health goes ahead of corporate/consumer ethics.
You're so awesome, Ruthla
:
 
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