The effects of medication on a baby via the breast milk are usually not as bad, compared to the impact on a baby, if the mother goes untreated for depression.
Postpartum depression is a serious disease and needs to be treated hastily. Postpartum depression can develop into psychosis very quickly; this can happen more frequently and quicker than other depression.
Most effects seen in babies, whose mothers take the depression MEDs, are observed in the first 30 to 60 days after giving birth. After this period, there are usually no adverse effects experienced.
Sometimes babies who were exposed to medication in-utero will have withdrawal symptoms after birth. These withdrawal symptoms are sometimes confused with breastfeeding while on depression MEDs.
SSRI drugs are safer to take than other older drugs. SSRI drugs are not addictive, have no buzz effect, very mild withdrawal and show good results in patients.
What about Zoloft and breastfeeding?
Zoloft is one of the best drugs of choice, as it has a low transfer rate into the breast milk. In some case studies, Zoloft was found to be untraceable in the plasma of breastfed infants. The only concern would be the baby’s weight gain. Some babies have been found to gain weight a little slower.
If Zoloft is found to be ineffective to treat the mother's depression, the other safest drugs during breastfeeding are Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, and Prozac.
Interesting article on the Ask Dr. Sears Site about taking Zoloft and other antidepressants while breastfeeding...
"The most important thing for Baby is to receive your milk; you are providing immunity towards diseases.
Zoloft concentrations in breast milk have been found to be very low (only trace amounts) and is the number one medication prescribed for Moms who are breastfeeding.
No adverse effects have been reported in babies exposed to Zoloft during breastfeeding.
Giving Baby a bottle instead of nursing will just worsen the situation; Baby won't be receiving the best start possible, and you won't have the benefit of breastfeeding either. (Breastfeeding Moms are at lower risk of postpartum depression.) The benefits of breast milk far outweigh the risk taken if you continue to breastfeed on Zoloft.
If you are still unsure about whether to continue to breastfeed while on Zoloft, please find a PRO-breastfeeding doctor for advice. Most other doctors will just recommend you start Baby on formula, because of lack of knowledge when it comes to breastfeeding."