Antidepressants and Breastfeeding

Are you Taking Antidepressants and Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is still encouraged when a mother is on antidepressants.

If a mother is forced to stop breastfeeding, it can leave her feeling even more depressed. Women who do not breastfeed their babies, are at higher risk of developing postnatal depression. 

Effects of PPD on Mom and Baby if Mom Doesn’t get Treatment

  • A likely increased susceptibility to psychopathology in these children.
  • Boys whose depressed mothers show ambivalence to them, in the early months,  have higher rates of behavioral troubles and learning difficulties by the age of five.
  • A depressed mother is more likely to do self harm or commit suicide.
  • Slower speech and skill development in babies.
  • Insomnia and breastfeeding problems.

Taking Antidepressants and Breastfeeding

Specific Drugs

Please speak to your lactation consultant about taking specific drugs, the following is just extra information to base your decision on...

  • Prozac is not recommended if Baby is younger than two months, also research shows that babies on Prozac might also have colic and be fussier than usual.
  • Zoloft is found in very low concentrations in breast milk, with no adverse effects on the baby.
  • Paxil is almost always never detected in mother's breast milk.
  • Celexa levels are higher in breast milk, and babies might have side effects.
  • Effexor not recommended because of its side effects.
  • St johns wort herb is a weak antidepressant and may create problems if taken with other medication.
  • Bupropion may reduce breast milk production.
  • Valium is not recommended as it may sedate the baby and increase the risk of SIDS “sudden Infant Death Syndrome".
  • Tricyclics have too many bad side effects.

Why are SSRI Drugs Safer than Other Drugs during Breastfeeding?

  • It has a success rate in patients of up to 70%.
  • It is not addictive.
  • It has no associated buzz.
  • Very mild withdrawal symptoms.
  • Side effects usually fade away over time.

Should you Wean Baby?

  • The benefits of continued nursing outweigh most negative effects of taking medication while breastfeeding. You need to work with your lactation consultant, so that you can make an informed decision. 
  • Quitting the breastfeeding relationship, can increase depression levels.
  • Continued breastfeeding will help Mom feel stable. There are feel good hormones released while breastfeeding. 

Natural Treatment

Other Natural Ways of Treating Depression while Breastfeeding

Other pages on “breastfeeding problems" in connection with taking antidepressants and breastfeeding

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