Are postpartum depression medications safe for nursing moms?

Are postpartum depression medications safe for nursing moms?

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The decision to take medication for depression while you are breastfeeding is not a simple one. You have to weigh the risks and benefits of treating the symptoms with medication (and possibly exposing your baby to low levels of medication) against those of leaving the illness untreated or not breastfeeding your child. It's a complicated decision, and every case is different. You should discuss your situation carefully with your doctor, your baby's doctor, and your partner.

You might also want to check BabyCenter's Drugs and Breast Milk Interactions Chart for a list of drugs — including antidepressants — and how they affect breast milk. Studies have shown that certain antidepressant medications (such as Zoloft and Pamelor) are probably safe to take while nursing because little if any of the drug is passed through breast milk to the infant.

Moreover, many physicians feel strongly that a severely depressed mother poses a greater risk to a developing baby than low-level exposure to medication. Another option under these circumstances is to stop breastfeeding. (You can even do this temporarily while you're on the medication. If you "pump and dump" your milk, you can maintain the supply so that when you're ready to go back to nursing, your milk will be there.) Other factors your doctor will probably consider are the severity of your symptoms, your baby's age, and your emotional attachment to nursing and how meaningful it is to you.

Be sure to discuss all your concerns with your doctor. You do have options, and you should take steps toward feeling better so you and your baby can enjoy your time together.

Watch the video: Early identification essential to treat postpartum depression. Vital Signs (December 2022).

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