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Citalpram and breast feeding

(8 Posts)
stareyes76 Wed 21-Oct-09 14:21:32

hello please can you help me???? im currently taking 20mg of Citalopram for pre natal and reactive depression and my midwife has said and dr has hinted that it is not recommended to breast feed on them. im feeling very very guilty about it and am wondering if anyone has any answers. or something to relax me.

my husband keeps telling me that there may be away of changing tablets (the doc didn't really say much about this but is not convinced) or that i may be able to still feed her even on the tablets as he has looked into it online and it has said that it is a very small amount that passed on. i know he is just trying to ease my mind.

sorry guys kinda freaking out

ViktoriaMac Wed 21-Oct-09 15:22:49

Hey Star,
I am on 40mg of Citalopram and there is no way in this world that I would risk coming off them when I have my baby, as I am so scared of Post-natal depression. I did want to breastfeed but since deciding that I don't want to take the risk of the medication affecting the baby and so will be bottlefeeding I have felt a lot more relaxed. I felt guilty for a bit, but I think it is much better for him if I am mentally healthy than if I am a mess, albeit a breastfeeding mess!

I intend not to go to the breastfeeding lesson of my NCT course, as I know all the pros and cons and don't want to spend 2 hours being given reasons to feel bad for my decision.

I think there are anti-depressants which are safe for breastfeeding, but having spent a long time finding a drug that works for me I am going to stick with what I have.

Is the citalopram working for you? Does your doctor think the alternatives might be of use? Of course the problem is that you won't know if it suits you without trying.

stareyes76 Wed 21-Oct-09 15:34:48

to be honest im better only been on them the end of sept. like 3 weeks max. im getting there. even through im crying as i write this. stupid. its just cause my husband is away till fridays about 4pm. he does this every week or so. i can't go out on my own at the min i freak out a bit but i am doing lots better than i was.
i have recative pre-natal depression. im feeling gulity about bottle feeding plus im worried as it says that you have to boil a kettle and leave for half an hour before making the milk, which im worried if she gets hungry she will have to wait half and hour etc. i know ill have to feed at regular interviews like 4 hours apart or something but worried about it. plus lots of my friends and my horrible family do not know im on this i don't wanna be judged as im 28 weeks pregnant and im worried about what to say to them when i get asked why im not breast feeding. my mum is part of the problem why im on the bloody tablets. great. and im worried about his family (i mean im worried what they will say/think that im not) i need to think of something to say to them all. some people are very very ummmmm opionated. (can't spell lol)

ViktoriaMac Thu 22-Oct-09 01:58:23

Hhhm, I'm 32 weeks and hadn't even looked into the practicalities of bottle feeding (as always intended to breastfeed). Yeah, it appears you do have to leave the boiled water for half an hour, but people get by don't they? You have raised questions in my head now! I will ask my midwife about how people ensure they can bottlefeed to the baby's satisfaction, though I know you can seal freshly boiled water in a flask and mix that with the formula when you need to. You could also have a few ready to use milk packs in, in which case you just need to heat it in boiling water.
According to UNICEF the figures are: "Overall, only 35 per cent of UK babies are being exclusively breastfed at one week, 21 per cent at six weeks, 7 per cent at four months and 3 per cent at five months." So I think it is acceptable in our circumstances.
As for what to say to people, first and foremost, it's no one's business but yours and DH's, but if you think they will ask questions then just tell them that you are on medication and that have been advised not to breastfeed. Even if you say that you are on heavy duty painkillers after the birth (?), that should be enough to stop prying questions.
What does your DH think?

Also, a couple of weeks is a very short time to allow the tablets to kick in, if they are not working by end of next week go back to your GP, they may try something else, or they may increase your dosage. It took me a while to get back to the stage where I could go out on my own and even now I still have off days when I just want to hide. Fresh air does help though, it really does. As does setting goals of small things that you plan to achieve each day. (Go out and buy magazine, phone a friend, be dressed with hair done by 9am, etc).
It is scary, but try to see small steps as steps on the way to recovery.

ferfer Thu 22-Oct-09 05:06:22

I breastfed my first child and am currently breastfeeding my second child whilst taking a/ds (a version of the one you are taking). I have spoken to several experts about this matter (as am very neurotic!) and my understanding is that there are very few a/ds that are not safe to take whilst breastfeeding. Also, taking an a/d whilst pregnant exposes the baby to a much higher level of the drug than is secreted whilst breastfeeding. (I did both). So not sure why you would stop taking it once the baby was actually born. I believe the general opinion is that the proven considerable benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any possible risks associated with the very small amount of the drug being passed through the breastmilk.
I would ask to speak to a dr who specialises in treating post natal depression.
Also maybe post this on the breastfeeding forum as I know I have seen posts about this before, including one regarding the a/d you are taking. Sorry don't know how to link but will come up if you put it in search.
Ultimately, its your decision.
I know breastfeeding was definitely the right choice for my babies and FWIW I have not had any problems with a/ds affecting either of them.

ferfer Thu 22-Oct-09 05:06:52

I meant to say all the best and good luck!

stareyes76 Thu 22-Oct-09 12:06:16

thanks iv put it up in the breast verse bottle section. just can't work out that if little one wakes up during the night she has to wait half an hour to be feed. or do i set an alarm, but what happens if she is still asleep. i can't wake her. lol. so many questions.

sorry ViktoriaMac i didn't mean to raise all these questions.

its a scary world all this new baby things and i feel like its another thing thrown at me. great.

yesterday i got up, watched tv etc ate, but i actually managed to first clean the house, second wash my hair. sounds silly but i havn't cared and again sounds silly but major step i put the bins out the front door into our garden. i found it hard to go out there before alone. i want to try and go up the steps todays and cut the hedge with some small scissor things can't remember what they are called. but i hope i can do it. even if i go half the way up the garden and cut a little bit off the bush we have there will be amazing.
thanks for your support.

stareyes76 Thu 22-Oct-09 12:22:06


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