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Depression and breastfeeding

(14 Posts)
mumblecrumble Tue 12-Aug-08 19:47:22

DD is nearly a year and have been happily breastfeeding. Hope to continue breastfeeding, not sure how long but wasn;t planning to stop yet.

Following various symptoms, familiar from other bouts of depression pre-preganancy and motherhood, went to doctors and he confirmed depression. He's lovely doctor, very pro-breastfeeding and seems comfortable to discuss depression and mental illness.

I have been referred to some kind of emergency psych team and expect to have appointments, medication etc happening soon. I asked if doctor reckoned I;d have to stop breast feeding and he said it would probably have to due to medication etc.


Makes me a bit sad but then will I feel this way when dd gives up the breast anyway? Are there any drugs/ treatments etc that could be affective alongside extended breastfeeding? I am at the point now where I am concerned enough about my mood and behaviour is enough not to justify doing nothing.

Any wise thoughts gratefully read...

scarlettskye Tue 12-Aug-08 20:05:06

Hello mumblecrumble

I'm sorry that you are feeling depressed - I'm a fellow sufferer so can empathise.

I have taken sertraline since the birth of my 3rd child and have stayed on it whilst pregnant with my 4th. She is now 19 months and still breastfeeding :0) Sertraline is one of the more widely prescribed ad's for women who want to breastfeed/get pregnant.
Please ask the crisis team about having a med that you can still breastfeed on so that you don't have to stop before you feel ready.
Scarlettskye xx

WinkyGirl Tue 12-Aug-08 20:09:21

I'm on sertraline and breastfeeding my 5 month old. It has really helped. Good luck smile

LackaDAISYcal Tue 12-Aug-08 20:14:35

Oh, silly doctor angry.

Sorry to hear that you are feeling low sad, but there is no reason to stop BFing to take ADs as there are many which are compatible with BFing.

I am under the care of the local perinatal team at the MH hospital and sertraline is their recommendation as recent studies have shown that only negligible amounts get through into BM. I was still BFing DD at 8 months whilst taking sertraline, and only stopped both the sertraline and BFing as I got pregnant again and my milk supply dried up pretty quickly. I also know of women who have taken fluoxetine and citalopram whilst BFing, so it is possible. I am back on fluoxeteine due to the pregnancy, but will be changing back to sertraline towards the end of my pregnancy so that I can BF again.

Ask to see someone who is experienced in dealing with BFing women and check out the Breastfeeding Network's or La Leche Leagues websites for information on AD drugs compatible with BFing.

There really is no need to stop as the latest thinking is that even BM with added ADs is better long term for the baby than formula milk. The GP may just be looking at the fact that your DD is coming up for a year and can be put straight onto cow's milk at that point without realising that there are definate benefits for continuing as long as possible.

hth smile

purplemonkeydishwasher Tue 12-Aug-08 20:18:05

i was on seroxat while BFing. there are options.

(as an aside the last time to went to my GP for depression i asked to be put on ADs that were ok if you fell pregnant [as a precaution, not because we are TTC] and he told me taht nothing was safe. was he talking out of his arse?)

madcol Tue 12-Aug-08 20:22:35

I found that as soon as I stopped breast feeding at 9 months the depression lifted - presumably hormones - so I didn't take the tablets.
Sad but true for me.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 12-Aug-08 20:25:02

purplemonkeydishwasher (have you been away? not seen your name for a while and it always makes me smile), I was advised to come off the ADs at least for the first trimester by my GP, but my psych said that there are options available as the risks of harm to the baby are often outweighed by the risk of the mum hurting herself (and consequently the baby) by not being on ADs. He did say it depends on individual circumstances though. Perhaps your GP was just erring on the side of caution?

NotAnOtter Tue 12-Aug-08 20:27:10

i was on sertraline whilst bfing ds - silly gp - there are lots of options!

TinkerBellesMum Tue 12-Aug-08 20:30:20

Most ADs are ok for breastfeeding especially ones your GP can prescribe and especially considering the age of your DD. Make sure you are being referred to the Mother & Baby team.

purplemonkeydishwasher Tue 12-Aug-08 20:39:53

that's exactly what he said lackaDAISYcal. I don't think i'm bad enough for taht. but it's a non-issue right now since i'm not pregnant (that i know of! wink)

no not been away, just under a different name for a while! (SirDigbyChickenCaesar) but Pruners said i should change back so here i am!

(appolgies for the thread hijack BTW mumblecrumble)

weeonion Tue 12-Aug-08 20:40:00

mumble - I'm really glad that you have a doctor that you can open up to but the emergency psych team will have more expertise in dealing with mental health issues. I had Antenatal depression and wouldnt go on meds during pg but intended to once dd arrived. i breastfed and struggled with the idea of taking meds but after struggling on with PND for 10mths decided that i wanted to enjoy my time with her instead of just geting by. i talked long and hard with my psychiatrist at mums & babies unit and read teh research. i am now on 100mgs sertaline a day. i take it at about 7pm as it is reckoned it will be at its highest levels in breastmilk around 5-10hrs later. dd is 1 and i still bf - morning and night. did express when back at wotk full time but stopped it.
I believe that what i done was for teh best. the benefits to her from bf outweigh small small risk from meds. plus - i feel so much better and i am really glad that i kept bf - they are the most relaxed and chilled times of my day, i can sit back and literally just think of nothing when i would otherwise be rushing around.

good luck with whatever you decide but dont be pressurized to make a decision on bf that you arent comfortale with. i hope you start to get the help and support you need.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 12-Aug-08 20:46:52

aha....that name I have seen around smile

and hey to weeonion as well smile

sorry mumblecrumble, just seeing lots of posters I haven't bumped into for ages blush

link to advice from the BfN. Perhaps you can print this off and take it with you to your appointment smile

weeonion Tue 12-Aug-08 20:51:12

sorry mumble - but hi to lackadaisy! we never did manage to meet up at xmas. up here anytime soon??

LackaDAISYcal Tue 12-Aug-08 21:02:16

not before christmas.....impending baby shock is putting paid to any travel plans. Am due early November grin

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