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Breast feeding and depression.

(9 Posts)
HannahBerry Tue 09-Oct-12 13:08:20

Hi, I have always suffered from hormonal mood swings and very low points every month. I know it is hormonal as it is cyclical (a couple of days every 2 weeks) and linked to my ovulation and periods. It ends as quickly as it begins but the lows can be at times really rock bottom.

I have taken ADs in the past, but I am reluctant as I feel it is down to my hormones rather than a mood disorder per se. I am taking 100mg of vitamin B complex, and when combined with the contraceptive pill, this used to help a lot. Since giving birth, however, I find that my mood swings and low points are unbearable (for me and my husband!). I can see it impacting hugely on my marriage.

Anyway, the GP has given me a choice: AD and continue to BF, or stop breastfeeding and restart the pill. I have been BF for 5 months now but don't want to stop before 1 year ideally.

What I am looking for is a bit of help here. Is there a third way? A natural alternative to boost oestrogen safely while still breastfeeding (an impossible ask?!). Something else?

Thank you. Hx

prettybird Tue 09-Oct-12 13:11:17

Why can't you take the pill and continue to BF?

prettybird Tue 09-Oct-12 13:13:54

...quite apart from the fact that there are plenty of anti-depressants that are OK to take while breastfeeding but I iwll leave it to those more knowledgeable than me to elaborate

Your GP sounds like he/she doesn't have a clue about breastfeeding needs to do a wee bit research on breastfeeding and compatibility with drugs.

Susieloo Tue 09-Oct-12 13:21:04

Do you have to take the combined pill? I'm taking cerazette which is the minipill and still bf. I had stopped taking the pill for a year because I really don't suit hormonal contraception but I've found this one really suits me.

HannahBerry Tue 09-Oct-12 14:53:40

Thank you both for your replies so far.

Yes, I can take ADs while BF but I want to avoid them if possible. I don't see the point of taking an AD just to stabilize my mood for 4 days a month.

I used to take the combined pill- but cannot take that now as BF and the mini pill won't solve the problem as it does not contain oestrogen.

I'm looking for success stories of naturally combatting PMT I guess. I don't want to have to give up BF...

Thanks Hx

Cakebaker35 Tue 09-Oct-12 15:00:00

Firstly, you've done brilliantly to BF for 5 months, so well done. In your shoes, and with the benefit of hindsight (I felt as you did around this point, my DD now 10 months) I would recommend stopping breastfeeding and go to the bottle - you will then be able to get yourself back on track and your little one will have a happier Mummy, which will be the biggest benefit in the world. Sorry this is probably not the answer you wanted but having seen so many people struggle and having had a wobbly patch myself, bottle feeding is really not the end of the world, millions do it with happy, healthy babies so please don't beat yourself about it.

RedKites Tue 09-Oct-12 15:01:13

Some sites (e.g. Kellymom) seem to suggest you could consider taking the combined pill once baby is at least six months old and established on solids. However, other sites say not. Would you consider calling the drugs in breastmilk phoneline ? More information on that link, but it is run by a pharmacist who also knows about breastfeeding, so would be more of an expert in this area than your GP. She could give you more information on taking either the combined pill or ADs while breastfeeding?

MigGril Tue 09-Oct-12 15:06:00

what about trying a form of contraction that will stop you're cycle. one mini pill that works for me is cerazette this one is slightly different from most mini pills a it stops most women ovulating, the hormonal coil is another possible option.

You can take the pill while breastfeeding the risk is it may effect your milk supply.

HannahBerry Tue 09-Oct-12 16:34:00

Thanks for the link RedKites, it looks really useful. I will send them an email.

That seems like a good suggestion migGrill. I will explore that further. I am willing to try anything new that might ease these mood swings in the long term!


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