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Is is safe to take antidepressants whilst breastfeeding?


I recently had my first baby and just learned I have post-natal depression. My doctor put me on a very low dose of antidepressant and my symptoms are much better. I am breastfeeding my daughter and don't want to use formula but am worried about side effects. Are anti-depressants safe when I'm breastfeeding?

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Breastfeeding has many medical and emotional benefits for the mum and the baby. It is common for depressed mums to feel that breast milk is the one positive thing they are able to give to the baby. And it’s important to note that weaning the baby does not cure postpartum depression.

Most full-term babies do fine nursing while a mom is taking the most common antidepressants. The antidepressants most studied are the SSRIs (Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro) and the Tricyclics (Pamelor and Elavil). Some studies have even looked at how much medication was in the babies’ blood, and at their behavior. The two that were “virtually undetectable” in the babies were Zoloft (sertraline) and Paxil (paroxetine). Even though the others were detected in the infants’ blood, the infants were fine.

Developmental testing has been done on exposed infants at 1 1/2 years of age, and the kids all seemed to have the same IQ and met the same developmental milestones as kids whose moms did not take medication.

The best medication is the one that works for you. If you’ve successfully been on a medication before, that is probably the first one to try.

In general, the feeling is that, for mums who want to continue nursing, the risks to the infant are extremely small and the benefits of nursing are very large. You may want to discuss this with your prescribing doctor. Hopefully, they can reassure you.

The most important thing for a baby is a healthy mum. Be well!
Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Some researchers are concerned that they increase the risk of birth defects. Proponents of antidepressants point out, correctly, that depression during pregnancy is also risky and can lead to premature delivery and other complications.
It is always good to seek advice about any medicine you are to use either when pregnant or breastfeeding.Some drugs might be good to the mother but have side effects on the baby.I have breastfed all my five children,some drugs lower the amount of milk produced.
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