WIBU to keep breastfeeding?

(30 Posts)
pastaNcheese Sat 08-Mar-14 11:27:10

Hi, hope you all can help because I'm genuinely not sure who's right here.

I have a 3 month old DD who is mixed fed, but mainly breastfed. I had initially planned to EBF but due to c section my milk didn't come in for 5 days and I had to top up with formula (docs advice). I had to make a huge effort with feeding and pumping to get my supply up to the point that DD only gets 1 bottle before bed. She also had a tongue tie which was snipped about 5 weeks. This made things a lot easier. So many times I thought about giving up and was basically counting down the days until she was 6 months so I could stop. I know it's a personal choice, but this is the point I wanted to feel until. Over the last month or so, I started to find it a lot easier and DD was lasting a decent time between feeds and sleeping better at night.

So I've really started to enjoy breastfeeding and DD much prefers it to taking a bottle. She has also started teething early and it is the main thing that soothes her. So I was now planning to BF until at least 6 months then see how we got on.

I have suffered with depression and anxiety on and off for years and this really flared up during my pregnancy. I have still been really struggling since DD has been born. I haven't been able to get out of the house too much or get myself into a great routine with the housework. The only thing I have really been able to do is look after DD. I have been having lots of paranoid and irrational fears and crying every day. I finally managed to follow through with a doctors appointment, after cancelling others at the last minute. I've also restarted a computer based CBT program at the doctor's surgery.

I have resisted taking anti depressants for years because I thought it was better to try to do it 'on my own'. This isn't working for me though and I don't want my DD to suffer.

I've been prescribed 10mg per day of paroxetine. The doctor said only a very small amount will go into the breast milk, especially as he has prescribed me half the normal starting dose. He said it is safe and not harmful to the baby.

My DP is really against anti depressants as he thinks there are many self help techniques which would work better. He has seen family members take them and feels it wasn't a positive experience.

Both my mum and sister have taken and do take them (respectively). Both have said they have helped so much and my mum had no trouble coming off them.

So when I came home yesterday with the pills he wasn't pleased. I told him it's my choice and I am having regular reviews with the doctor to check how they are working out next week then 2 weeks later.

He is insisting that I don't breastfeed DD in case if affects her. I understand where he is coming from, but I trust the doctor's advice.

My mum also tried to speak to him over the phone but he would not budge. My mum suggested to me that I should offer a compromise in that I will stop breastfeeding if he doesn't make an issue of me taking the tablets. She says I have done well to persevere through the tongue tie, depression etc and 3 months is more than a lot of people manage.

I did offer the compromise which was agreed. My dp then put me on a bit of a guilt trip, saying I was selfish to give up breastfeeding just to take these tablets. We have talked a bit more and he has agreed not to guilt me about this again.

The thing is, I'm not ready to stop. I breastfed her during the night last night when she was up and have done so today while he is at work.

I don't know what to do. It is too abrupt to just stop like this. I can't just continue to do it in secret.

I feel like I shouldn't have to lie. I do also agree that he should have a say in how she is fed, but there isn't really a compromise. I'm so torn.

And advice?

CrohnicallyFarting Sat 08-Mar-14 11:31:45

YWNBU to continue as the doctor has said it is safe for you to do so, and has prescribed the pills with breastfeeding in mind.

Here's what the breastfeeding network has to say about antidepressant use: www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/dibm/anti%20depressants%20_and_Breastfeeding_Jan_2013-%20wj.pdf note that paroxetine was only found in breast milk at a 50mg dose- 5x yours.

HemlockStarglimmer Sat 08-Mar-14 11:34:45

Does your child's father have a medical degree? Does he have years of experience of infant nutrition?

If not then he needs to stop trying to interfere with what is best for you and your child.

NachoAddict Sat 08-Mar-14 11:36:07

I would listen yo the doctor and continue to feed my baby however I like.

If you need to take the anti depressants, take them. All this guilt tripping is not going to help at all either. Keep them in your handbag and don't tell your dp.

The doctor has said its safe, the breast feeding network says its safe. You do what you feel is best for you and your baby.

Chunderella Sat 08-Mar-14 11:40:04

So you've been medically advised that you should take antidepressants and that they're safe for bf. You want to take them and you want to continue to bf. I'm really struggling to see how there can be two sides to this, to be honest. The solution seems pretty obvious. Yanbu.

I can sort of understand his views on ADs- the fact is they don't work for everyone, though if they've previously helped your family members I suspect they're more likely to work for you too. It's understandable that he's wary given his experiences. But on what basis does he think it won't be safe to bf and take the medication- is he a pharmacist? Is there any actual basis to his fears?

Corabell Sat 08-Mar-14 11:41:23

I think your dp is being unreasonable. The tablets will help ease your symptoms to enable you to put self help strategies in place ( getting out and about/ exercise etc).

I hav PND and have been taking anti depressants since my DD was 4 weeks old. I am still breastfeeding 7 months later. In fact I was advised to keep on breastfeeding as it was important to me.

I think your DP is putting his prejudice against medication before your needs and the needs of your baby.

Ikeameatballs Sat 08-Mar-14 11:42:05

Your dp really isn't being helpful.

I would take the paroxetine and continue to breastfeed. I think that stopping breast feeding is only likely to have a negative impact on your mental health and there is no evidence that continuing whilst on meds will harm your dd.

Furthermore it is all very well him being against a medication and pro-self help but for most people both are helpful and often needed together, just as you are doing. When his mental health is the issue he can make the choice he feels is right for him, it's your mental health that's at stake this time, make the choice that is right for you.

Corabell Sat 08-Mar-14 11:44:51

I think your dp is being unreasonable. The tablets will help ease your symptoms to enable you to put self help strategies in place ( getting out and about/ exercise etc).

I hav PND and have been taking anti depressants since my DD was 4 weeks old. I am still breastfeeding 7 months later. In fact I was advised to keep on breastfeeding as it was important to me.

I think your DP is putting his prejudice against medication before your needs and the needs of your baby.

frogslegs35 Sat 08-Mar-14 11:44:53

Yanbu.
The GP is more qualified than your DP, unless dp has a medical degree.
There's very strict guidelines in place, if it wasn't safe you'd have been informed and advised not to feed your baby.

Maybe it would be a good idea for him to go and speak to the GP to clear up his concerns.
While he's there tell him to address the ridiculous attitude he has regarding Anti D's. His opinion is acceptable for him and his own wellbeing but to be honest, if he hasn't been depressed nor taken them before then he really should shut his dish.

callamia Sat 08-Mar-14 11:45:49

The first thing is to congratulate yourself. You're doing a magnificent job of feeding under difficult circumstances, and I admire your determination.

I assume that your husband isn't a pharmacist or medical practitioner, so while he can have an opinion on meds and breastfeeding, he doesn't really have all of the information and is forming his opinions based on his 'heart'. I do understand his worries, it would be an odd parent not to question it, but you have been given a low dose of a drug that is ok to bf on - that's the reality of it. Your partner can have a say, but it should be an informed say - not just an unsubstantiated worry.

It's likely that the advantages of you continuing to bf will far outweigh any disadvantages (I can't think if any actual disadvantages). You want to, bf milk is excellent for your baby, and so it should be better for both of you to continue.

It's great that you are also doing CBT - you're clearly making a huge effort to address your anxiety and mood, and this should be hugely congratulated. Maybe you won't need the medication for very long, or maybe that low dose will see you through for a while - regardless, you're making yourself a more capable-feeling person, and that's really important when you've got a small baby - it's so easy to feel isolated and useless (I'm saying this as the mother of a give month old).

Will your partner do some research on the effects of your medication on bf? Can he talk to a pharmacist? I think his fears and worries need addressing in a calm way, but ultimately, your decision to bf is your own, and I don't see that he can prevent you.

Ps. Sod the housework. It can wait, and I'm sure your dp can take on a larger share for a little while.

Goldmandra Sat 08-Mar-14 11:51:46

Your DD needs you to be healthy and happy. That is important for her well being and development. Your DP needs to understand that by supporting you he will be supporting his child.

Stopping BFing will have far more negative effects than any traces of ADs in your breastmilk even if a little was getting through.

Go ahead with what you feel is right, i.e. taking the ADs and continuing to BF and, every time he expresses an opinion on it, offer him a joint appointment with the GP so he can express his concerns to them.

Penguin0fMadagascar Sat 08-Mar-14 12:02:10

One thing to consider is that breastfeeding can affect you mood due to the hormones it causes your body to release. Obviously this is not a noticeable effect for everyone (I didn't feel anything particular with DS1), but with DS2 I used to find a great sense of calm coming over me as he nursed, which was just as well as we had a few problems establishing breastfeeding. So suddenly stopping might not be the best thing for your peace of mind.

Also, if you want the reassurance of another opinion specific to your circumstances, the Breastfeeding Network have a qualified pharmacist who can answer queries via email.

Good luck, I hope it all works out for you - coping with a new baby can be a struggle even if you feel on top of the world, and it must be so much harder if you are anxious and depressed. For what it's worth I think you must have a lot of courage.

pastaNcheese Sat 08-Mar-14 12:10:28

He has no medical background at all. He just reads a lot on the internet and has a lot of ideals about things being natural and organic (which he doesn't actually follow).

Our relationship hasn't been great recently and I have thought about ending things. At the moment I am not sure if I'm thinking logically or fairly (about everything, not just this issue). I really want to tackle this depression first of all then see where we are. He loves DD and is a great dad to her.

He does not trust the doctor (unsure why) so there is no point inviting him to an appointment. Thank you for the link, I will show him that.

I just want to avoid any more fighting.

I feel I've made a huge error by suggesting the 'compromise' in the first place.

PurplePidjin Sat 08-Mar-14 12:20:18

YANeverU to feed your child healthy, nutritious food!

You do seem to be putting an immense amount of pressure on yourself. Looking after a helpless, dependent new born is plenty to do, without housework and cooking on top of that. If he wants to support you, he needs to step up his share of the housework so that you can recover from the birth and get to grips with parenting.

Specifics my dp did that helped: Bringing me a cup of coffee and a big bowl of porridge (oats boost milk production) first thing in the morning. Chucking stuff in the slow cooker ready for the evening meal. Never, ever commenting on what housework had or hadn't been done except to be thrilled if I managed some and very complimentary. Taking ds for a cuddle as soon as he got in from work so I could have a little time not attached to a baby, this was good for them too as they could bond. Taking responsibility for bath time again so they could bond and I could have a break - this extended to breakfast once ds weaned meaning I got an extra hour in bed!

I've also had depression and dp finds it easier to be supportive when given set tasks to complete, which is why I can write that list!

Take it easy. Birth is a huge physical thing to recover from, as is learning to be a parent thanks

MrsKCastle Sat 08-Mar-14 12:21:41

He is being unreasonable in not supporting you. I had pnd with DD2, and took sertraline which helped me immensely. I still bf DD2 until she was just over 2- there was no reason not to.

The only thing that I think you are unreasonable for is lying to your DH. It might seem easier in the short term to avoid a confrontation, but long term it could easily create problems. If you feel able to, I think you should talk with him again, explain that you really don't want to give up. And remind him that according to professional medical opinion, the best course of action for you and your baby is to both take the tablets AND bf. All the benefits of both with virtually no risk because the amount in your breastmilk will be so small.

hippo123 Sat 08-Mar-14 12:34:28

Keep bfing your dd. it's what you want to do, it's what your dd wants to do. The medication is fine to take whilst bfing. Bfing helps reduce depression as well, lots of lovely hormones are produce whilst bfing. It's a bit of a no brainer really. Your dh sounds at the best uneducated, at the worse controlling. Would he listen to your Hv if she told him it was fine to bf whilst on the medication?

CecilyP Sat 08-Mar-14 12:40:33

Your doctor has been really helpful so I would take his advice. Your DH, on the other hand ...........

I agree that you made a mistake agreeing to this compromise (not really a compromise at all) in that it almost makes it feel like he is doing you a favour in allowing you to take the medicine that was prescribed for you for a condition for which you have been suffering with for months. Self-help (easy for him to say, though he doesn't seem to be helping) will be much easier once the meds kick in.

YA most definitely NBU to continue breastfeeding - I think you might regret it if you don't. Your DH sounds controlling but you have to stand up to him and do what is best for you and the baby.

aufaniae Sat 08-Mar-14 12:44:08

I would massively resent my DP is I gave up BFing on his say so.

You shouldn't lie to him though, you're storing up trouble for the future.

I would say you've thought more about it, and it's clear to you that the best thing for your baby's health and yours, is for you to continue BFing and taking the tablets.

I worry about him being controlling also. You say your relationship hasn't been great recently, what else is concerning you?

pomdereplay Sat 08-Mar-14 12:53:02

I think it is a terrible shame he is being so unhelpful in the face of you making a heroic effort to get better and do the best for your daughter too.

I took anti-depressants for almost 18 months whilst breastfeeding my DD (still feeding now at over 2 years old!). I was confident in the professional advice I was given by my GP that was also corroborated by both health visitors and lactation consultants with decades of experience. If my DP had been stupid enough to challenge this evidence (he wasn't; he did everything he could to support my recovery and the breastfeeding relationship) I would have given him very short shrift.

If you want to breastfeed and take your medication, do it. The people with years of training and experience have given you the green light, this means far more than your DP's ridiculous internet 'research'. There is absolutely zero need to 'compromise' here.

I hope you find yourself on the road to recovery soon. flowers

Notafoodbabyanymore Sat 08-Mar-14 13:05:55

Funny that he cares so much about things bwing natural, yet he wants to stop your dd from having the most natural thing available - breast milk.

He is being unreasonable.

You are doing brilliantly!

goodtimesinbontemps Sat 08-Mar-14 13:09:28

I think the real issue isn't whether to take the tablets while bfing , it's that your dp is being incredibly unsupportive at a time when you need it sad. You should listen to your doctors advice, not your dps, I imagine his attitude is not helping your depression at all.

pastaNcheese Sat 08-Mar-14 13:14:09

I really appreciate all the advice and support. Everyone is saying just to take the tabs and BF. I suppose I just feel it is not as easy as that because of my DP.
We argue over a lot of things and I often feel I am right but for some reason I get talked down. Generally I find it easy to stand my ground but throughout my pregnancy and since DD has been born, I have become emotionally dependant on my DP. If we have an argument I always end up apologising even if I know I'm right.
The relationship is not great but I know a lot of this is caused by my erratic behaviour.
To be honest, I don't think we would have stayed together if not for DD. Things may have been easier without my pregnancy etc though so you never can tell.
We love each other, we love our DD and we want to make it work.
I have my eyes open in this though. When I get myself sorted emotionally I will see where we are.

TenaciousOne Sat 08-Mar-14 13:15:14

YANBU, but your partner sounds controlling which will not help with your PND. Would it help if he came to a drs appointment with you?

pastaNcheese Sat 08-Mar-14 13:16:37

I will ask him to come to my next doctor's appointment. I'm not sure it will help but it can't hurt

lljkk Sat 08-Mar-14 13:29:26

yanbu

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