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BFing and antidepressants

(12 Posts)
OrchidFlakes Tue 21-May-13 22:09:22

I'm feeling really low and starting to think I may need some help. However I am BFing DS (9 months) and there is no way in hell I'm stopping or compromising my milk to him with drugs.

Are any anti depressants completely safe or not transfer through my milk? I have taken them before but took citalopram which I know I cannot take whil BFing.

Any advice gratefully received. I'm just sick of being miserable and snapping at DH and arguing with him and generally being a pretty horrid person

FattyMcChubster Tue 21-May-13 22:12:08

Have you spoken to your gp or hv yet?

OrchidFlakes Tue 21-May-13 22:13:31

No, my HV is as much use as a chocolate teapot and I don't want to go to the GP as they know so little about BFing I want to do a little research before I face it

ReallyTired Tue 21-May-13 22:18:00

I am sorry to hear you are ill.

Sertaline is often good for breastfeeding mothers. I took sertaline for 12 months and my baby experienced no side affects. The inital affects for the mother are pretty unpleasent for the first week or so while your body gets used to the drug. Interventions like CBT are far more effective when combined with drugs for moderate/ severe depressions.

If you want to try something non pharmacutial first then the website.

living life to the full

However if you have serious depression then you really need medication. I am sorry if this upsets you, but untreated postnatal depression can harm your baby's social development. The damage caused to babies having a mother with severe long term depression out weighs the benefits of breastfeeding.

The amount of drug that enters the breastmilk from sertaline is minute. The body is utterly amazing at preventing poisons entering the breast milk. A nine month old baby is far more robust than a newborn and should have a mixture of food in its diet as well as breastmilk.

OrchidFlakes Tue 21-May-13 22:21:35

Thanks for the link Really, I'm open to all options and hoping to avoid meds. DS eats more food than milk so his exposure would be minimal.

It's not severe but I can feel the dark cloud creeping and want to be reactive before its destructive..

RedKites Tue 21-May-13 22:23:50

Hope you are able to talk to someone soon, and that they are helpful when you do. You might find the BFN antidepressants information sheet of interest.

notcitrus Tue 21-May-13 22:26:20

Try the kellymom website. They say with loads of drugs that they get into the breastmilk and no-one has ever tested them to be able to confirm they are safe, but from practise in fact lots of them are OK (but a few aren't).
I know lofepramine and other tricyclics are deemed ok even by the BNF now (that book GPs get out to check), so even if citalopram isnt deemed a good idea there are other options (small amount of lofepramine is transferred).

From Citalopram is excreted in human milk. Side effects have been reported in two nursing infants. The manufacturer recommends that a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Which in layman's terms means it's ok or they wouldn't be telling you to make your own decision. Bear in mind reports of side effects in 2 babies doesnt mean the issues with those 2 babies had anythng to do with the drug, so only 2 reports is pretty good.

I imagne ds is starting to eat more and not have so much milk, which obviously would reduce the amount of drug he got anyway.

Personally while I had PND for a while, the same results came from being chronically sleep-deprived - could you get a couple afternoons in bed while DH or someone takes ds, and see if that helps? But I would consider taking ADs, especially seeing as your baby isn't totally dependent on your milk now (actually I felt a lot better physically once I was being less drained by bfing, around 9-10 months).

Hope you feel better soon.

OrchidFlakes Tue 21-May-13 22:35:08

Thank you for the link Red and for the info Not. I love BFing and won't do anything to compromise that or DS, he's amazing smile

I guess I need to figure this all out if it is depression or just a really shut time that some time will fix. There's so much going on in my life at the moment that I feel like I'm scarcely keeping my head above water.

OrchidFlakes Tue 21-May-13 22:35:47

*shut = shit (autocorrect fail)

ReallyTired Tue 21-May-13 22:40:14

I am sorry if my previous post seemed a bit blunt. I know that some bitter experience that not taking medication can have really bad affects. Postnatal depression can take on a life of its own and become really severe if its not treated.

Anyway I am pleased to hear that the black cloud has not completely descended. It may well be that medication is not appriopiate and you can use self help approaches. For very mild depression the side affects of medication outweigh the benefits.

The charity MIND has a network of support organised by volenteers. In my area they run courses to help with depression, anxiety, confidence, women's health. I realise its difficult if you have to find childcare. MIND also provides councelling services where people pay on a sliding scale according to their means.

ReallyTired Tue 21-May-13 22:42:15

OrchidFlakes can you get to a La Leche League meeting? Getting out and meeting like minded mothers does wonders to raise the mood.

You can still carry on breastfeeding. Postnatal depression does not last forever.

DewDr0p Tue 21-May-13 22:48:27

Hi OP. I took anti-d's while bfing 2 of my children. Sertraline is the first choice for bfing but I also took Fluoxetine (that time I was pg, Sertraline not licensed for pg). This was under supervision of an obstetric cons who has a reputation for being super cautious and was very relaxed about it all.

I do totally empathise - but remember your ds needs you to be well too.

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