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Just diagnosed w PND. Antidepressants and breastfeeding?

(37 Posts)
Verso Fri 08-Jul-05 08:06:02

I've suspected for a while now that I have PND and my Edinburgh scale score was sufficiently high for me to be referred for weekly counselling and weekly check-ups with my GP as well.

Thing is, it's getting worse and I was evaluated yday by a sleep clinic person and got a higher score and have been asked to consider antidepressants...

I really want to carry on BF but the health visitor said I'd have to stop if I take AD's whic is why I've avoided them until now. Is this true?

I will be seeing my GP again next week, and just wanted to be a bit better informed.


Toothache Fri 08-Jul-05 08:10:53

Verso - I suffered PND with my ds (now 4yrs). So when I was pregnant with dd they carried out the Edin Test at 32 wks pg as I felt like I was 'slipping' again. I scored 18. I was prescribed the older style AD's that are known to be safe during pregnancy.

My GP explained that starting on a low dosage could be just enough to stop the onset of PND once dd was born..... he also said they would change my AD's to another type to allow me to breastfeed..... so I can only assume you can take certain AD's and still bf.

I didn't need them this time thankfully, but it's really good you have the help you need! Its a big step, but AD's might be just what is needed to get you back on track.

How old is your baby?

Verso Fri 08-Jul-05 08:40:07

She was 12 weeks on Wednesday. I scored 18 as well, btw.

Toothache Fri 08-Jul-05 09:26:02

PND is awful, but not permanent thankfully!! It took me 18mths to feel anywhere remotely normal, but that was because I didn't get any help until then.

If you want to chat about it then here is a good place. It was Mumsnetters than eventually convinced me to go to the GP.

adrift Fri 08-Jul-05 09:31:46

Verso, many sympathies, Many MNers will know how you are feeling, and it ain't nice. First and most importantly, you will soon be feeling better.

Secondly, your HV is talking rubbish. What a shame she's out there putting this nonsense about. Do tell your GP about her. (Also, I don't see why you should wait for next week to see the GP, you should push to see someone sooner, if you can bear to be assertive right now. I know that every single minute with PND is hellish and incapacitating.)

I was bfeeding when diagnosed with PND (score of 18 too) and wanted, in my more balanced moments, to continue. My GP and HV both said there were ADs that were compatable with this. Initially, I was put on one of the newer ADs, Sertraline, but didn't get on with it. I've been on Dosulepin (AKA dothiepin), which is an older AD, for 4 mths (started to feel better within 3 wks) and am still bfeeding. I have had no bad sideeffects at all.

Keep us posted. Good luck.

PiccadillyCircus Fri 08-Jul-05 09:56:38

Verso, I have been diagnosed with depression (at 12 weeks pregnant) and am now 30 weeks pregnant.

I am taking ADs - I am taking sertraline which the doctor checked for its suitability in both pregnancy and breastfeeding and it is OK.

I am intending to both breastfeed and continue taking the ADs once this baby is born.

monkeytrousers Fri 08-Jul-05 15:06:18

I have PND, am still BF'ing and am taking fluoxetine. Adrift is right, you should insist on seeing your GP sooner. Good luck.

jenk1 Sat 09-Jul-05 13:33:34

i have PND and am still breastfeeding i am going to have to go on AD but i dont want to go back on prozac-had side effects which i didnt like, what other AD are there available for PND with breastfeeding cos i,d like to be armed with iinformation when i see my gp, they tried to get me back on prozac at my last appointment and didnt offer anything else

georginars Sat 09-Jul-05 14:17:57

Verso, good luck. I am also breastfeeding (DD is 7 months) and taking sertraline (brand name Lustral). Your HV is talking cobblers. With my 2nd Edinburgh test I scored 21 and my HV couldn't get me to the GP quick enough! I am having counselling but feel that the ADs are also very important in dealing with PND.
I was still worried about it all but one of the GPs at my practice had just been to a conference upon this very subject and was able to doubly reassure me. Do try to get to the GP sooner if you feel bad. They will see you. HV should really help you see the GP quicker as well. I know with PND that one day you can be fine and the next day a total mess....
Jenk1 I know that Sertraline is OK with bfeeding. Also possibly Citalopram but not totally sure. The GP should know really, but they do have a book they can look things up in as well (same book that tells of drug clashes etc.)

hunkermunker Sat 09-Jul-05 14:22:15

You can phone the Breastfeeding Network's drugline for info. Will get you the number - hang on.

hunkermunker Sat 09-Jul-05 14:23:05

See here for the number and more info re antidepressants and breastfeeding and good luck with it all xxxxxx

Verso Sat 09-Jul-05 15:56:02

georginars - is it normal to have 'ok' days as well, then? I think I've been wondering for ages whether this was in fact PND because sometimes I can have an ok day, even laughing and joking a bit, which makes me think I'm not in fact depressed. But the bad days, when they come, are dreadful... and there are more of them than good days.

Thanks for all the advice about ADs. I'm sorry to see that so many people have had this though - it's horrible.

Verso Sat 09-Jul-05 16:06:09

P.S. I've already been having counselling for birth trauma, but the depression seems to be getting worse, not better, hence the possible ad's... has anyone had success with counselling alone?

jenk1 Sat 09-Jul-05 17:32:09

wish i cud say i have-i have been waiting a year for counselling, live in northwest of uk and our health authority is pretty dire tbh

Verso Sat 09-Jul-05 18:16:55

Waiting a YEAR?!!! OMG. That's terrible! I had to be evaluated but was bumped to the top of the queue for various reasons... sort-of to do with a formal complaint I'm making to the hospital concerned (I won't go into details here). Have they given you a reason for the delay?

jenk1 Sat 09-Jul-05 19:49:16

no-its the norm where i live to wait a year or so, actually i have been to see my gp this week and she has referred me to psychiatric as well as psychology to see if i can get on any quicker, i feel really sorry for women who are really bad though, its true what the papers say it is a post code lottery and i live in rochdale health area which is really pushed to its limit

adrift Sat 09-Jul-05 20:02:36

Verso, that's interesting, re 'OK days'. At one stage, once I'd been diagnosed, I came out of the monotonous low-level misery and actually felt fine some days, as if I were coming out of it (this happened before I started taking the ADs, for eg, as if the diagnosis alone had helped me). I would have, say, two fine days, and think I was on the way out of it. But then I would plummet down again for no particular reason, and those lows were the worst, because I had thought/hoped that I was getting better.

I asked about this, and HV (lovely) said there was no 'normal' course of the disease, every case of PND is individual, but violent mood swings are very common.

I tried counselling, was lucky enough to get immediate appt, but it didn't help (in fact, I remember the shame of seeing counsellor on an OK day, and feeling like an imposter). I know it was all biochemical in my case.

It is so wonderful when it stops.

Caththerese1973 Sun 10-Jul-05 06:26:19

I tokk anti-ds while pregnant and breastfeeding and was told it was okay - the preferred option, in fact to either not taking anti-ds or not breast feeding. I don't know what info your clinic sister has but several doctors told me that anti-ds and breastfeeding were okay in my case. Maybe because I was taking them while pregant so the baby was used to them?
I did stop the meds for a while when baby was 8 months old, but then lapsed back into depression when she was 18 months old and went back on the meds. I was still breastfeeding her before bed and early in the morning, and when I resumed the meds I did notice that she seemed to wake earlier and was a bit cranky. My doctor thought it was unliekly she was being affected, but I weaned her anyway (as she was 18 months old it was probably time anyway).
If I had to choose between breastfeeding while depressed, and bottle feeding not depressed, I have to say I would choose the latter. I think it's more harmful for the baby to have a depressed mother than it is for him or her to miss out on breastfeeding, and wonderful as breastfeeding is.

Verso Sun 10-Jul-05 08:07:51

"I remember the shame of seeing counsellor on an OK day, and feeling like an imposter"

I can SO identify with this. I sometimes feel I'm wasting the counsellor's time and that she must have more serious cases than me to deal with. Ditto the GP, if I've had an ok night (my appointments with her are always first thing in the morning).

Maybe it is just sleep deprivation? I can't tell what's normal and what isn't...

jabberwocky Sun 10-Jul-05 08:13:12

Verso, I took Zoloft while bfing. Dr. said it was fine. I have also felt that omega 3 supplements (fish, flaxseed oil) have helped but I do still take my AD's.

erinsmom Sun 10-Jul-05 10:17:06

never experienced pnd,but can totally understand depression,ive tried dothiepin,sertraline,fluoxetine,and now im on citalopram or cipramil as its sometimes known, ive been taking it throughout pregnancy and i can still breastfeed ,because i suffer with depression so often (most of my life)i know the signs, so when baby arrives ill be on the look out for signs.last pregnancy had to come off dothiepin and felt suicidal at times,but as i suffer with s.a.d the summer months following the birth actually kept me from a total breakdown ,and ive been there a few doctor reccomends talking about it and we have a walk-in self refferal centre where you can chat to counsellers ,ive found them more helpfull than a psychiatrist,who only want to know about how you got in that state ,not how they are going to get you out of that's help so dont be ashamed to take them dont be frightened of asking for help and if you have areally good day followed by a bad one dont feel a fraud,get a sympathetic doctor ,somekind of therapy that works for you and an ad that agrees with your system, and never be afraid to ask to have your dose increased if you think it will help

erinsmom Sun 10-Jul-05 10:22:48

just noticed jenk1 you are in rochdale, i used to live there, and i know what you mean, ive had s.a.d since being a teenager and its only since i moved to luton 8 years ago it was properly diagnosed and is now under control,so i sympathise with you notgetting the right treatment for pnd.

jenk1 Sun 10-Jul-05 11:57:45

erinsmom-its terrible under rochdale health authority isnt it-glad to see u r getting the right treatment now though, i also suffer with depression-have done since being a teenager,maybe even before that-have found that going away in the winter months helps-a bit of sunshine and u would be surprised how much better u can cope with the winter months

georginars Tue 12-Jul-05 09:11:13

Verso, sorry I didn't reply - don't get on the internet enough!
But yes - I have had a couple of times of feeling like an imposter at the counsellors as Adrift so rightly said - and quite often OK days - but then they make the bad days even worse because you really feel the plummet into misery again. The ADs seem to have equalized the mood swings, and they get you through so that you can really start to address your problems and also take practical steps.
Good luck everyone!

Verso Thu 14-Jul-05 09:14:11

I've been prescribed 10mg cipramil. Thing is, if someone would just watch my baby for four hours a week so I could sleep, I don't think I'd be feeling depressed at all!!

I asked them to do a thyroid test as well, so I'm not taking the ad's until I have that result. Call me obstinate lol!

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