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Depression and breast feeding

(15 Posts)
kbaby Tue 11-May-04 18:51:40

Hope this is the right place to post this thread.

Since becoming pregnant I have suffered from depression, doctors have called it antenatal depression caused by the pregnancy hormones. Since 17 weeks pregnant I have been taking prozac(fluoxetine) I have fully research the effects of taking this during pregnancy and it was suggested that it is ok during pregnancy but has a high transfer rate in the mums milk and so to move to a more suitable antidepressant just before the birth. Im now 38 weeks and went to my doctors today to ask to be perscribed a more suitable antidepressant. His response was that none are suitable and my options are 1) carry on taking prozac but do not breastfeed 2) stop taking the antidepressant and can then breastfeed. I even took in some research I found from the internet detailing the more suitable tablets to take but he just said it was one or the other. The thing is I really dont know what to do now. I want to breastfeed but yet I do not want to stop taking the tablets at the moment especially as I have been told that I would be more prone to PND, and surely the withdrawal effects combined with the baby blues could set my depression off again. Anyone have any advice or has been in a similar situation. What do all the mums with PND do? do they not breastfeed or not take the tablets.
Help please

Lisa78 Tue 11-May-04 19:05:02

hi kbaby
There are plenty of MNers who have bf whilst taking ads and I am sure some of those will be along to advise you shortly
In the meantime, you might find some useful threads in the "Breast and bottlefeeding" or "Health" topics
Don't despair, there's lots of options!

JJ Tue 11-May-04 19:06:19

Your doctor is a dope. I hope you're feeling ok -- there are many ADs you can take during breastfeeding. He is right about weaning off of Prozac, but you can switch to another one.

Here is some more info taken from a presentation by Dr Thomas Hale, who wrote *the* on breastfeeding and maternal medicines medicines.

Thinking of you.

kbaby Tue 11-May-04 19:12:15

Hi jj, The link was the same one I actually took in to show the doctor. He barely gave it a glance.

Lisa78 Tue 11-May-04 19:17:55

Sounds like your doctor is a waste of space kbaby
I should change GP's if I were you, either in the practice or change to a new practice, or could your midwife talk to the GP for you?

JJ Tue 11-May-04 19:21:44

Oh shoot, I'm so sorry! I would try and switch doctors if I were you. He sounds like an unsympathetic git.

susanmt Wed 12-May-04 12:42:13

This is b*ll*cks!
If you see you doc tell him that in this weeks 'Pulse' there is an article on prescribing and breastfeeding which states prozac is safe. Pulse is a free mag which goes to every GP in the country (my dh is one!!) and its a good article!
I'm a breastfeeding mum with no 3 and have breastfed and taken sertraline with all 3. If he wont listen, go to a different doctor - cos it sounds like he knows nothing about breastfeeding!!
Best of luck! Prozac is OK ib breastfeeding but my one, also known as Lustral, is more extensively researched.

JuA Wed 12-May-04 14:03:17

It is not recommended to breastfeed with fluoxetine (prozac) because it has a long half life (stays in the body a long time)and there is a risk of it accumulating in the infant. The difference from in pregnancy is that the baby has to excrete the drug not the mother and their immature kidneys/liver can't do it as well. However there are other antidepressants that work in the same way as fluoxetine that have been shown to be safer when breastfeeding I can't remember which but I will try and get someone at work to check it out and post it later.

mears Wed 12-May-04 14:06:12

The maternity unit I work in supports women to continue on Prozac when breastfeeding. As with all drugs there is very little data available with regard to how safe it is. However, more and more women are providing evidence as we speak. There are times where the benefit outweighs the risk.

aloha Wed 12-May-04 14:21:39

Change your doctor Kbaby! You deserve better treatment than he is giving you.

JuA Wed 12-May-04 14:26:00

Have a look here and/or get your GP to look. He/She should have access to a Medicines Information Pharmacist possibly at the local hospital. It is quite common for mums to take medication and breastfeed, and generally there are no problems but some medications are safer (or they have no evidence of causing side effcets in the infant).

kbaby Wed 12-May-04 15:38:58

Thanks everyone.

I mentioned it to my MW today and she is going to speak to the lactation consultant at the hospital. She said that I am taking a very small dose anyway but that there are alternatives that are safer to use while BF than fluoxetine.

marthamoo Wed 12-May-04 15:43:02

Find another doctor!!

I took imipramine (tri-cyclic) when bf-ing ds1 and cipramil (SSRI, same family as Prozac) while bf-ing ds2.

My GP told me that while "caution" is advised with Cipramil, while bf-ing, it is not contra-indicated. I had to look out for undue drowsiness in ds2 - but he suffered no adverse effects, and I b-fed successfully til he was 8 months old.

I'm sorry you are having such a bad time, but your doctor is making it harder than it needs to be. Hope you can find a sympathetic GP xx

KateandtheGirls Wed 12-May-04 15:54:23

I took Prozac while breastfeeding, quite a high dose (80mg). My psych said that if I weren't nursing he would switch me to a newer medication which I may not need at such a high dose. But Prozac, as one of the older antidepressants, has a longer history showing it's safe while bfeeding. He was more comfortable keeping me on Prozac.

KateandtheGirls Wed 12-May-04 15:55:26

By the way, I was on Prozac (and breastfeeding) from when she was 5 months to when she was 17 months.

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