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Antidepressants while breastfeeding?

Has anyone ever been on an antidepressant while breastfeeding....if so did you notice if your baby got affected by this medication in any way and what was the name was the antidepressant? Oh and did the medicine make you a lot gain weight? I'm a bit nervous about taking Zoloft, my Dr. prescribed it for me but I still have doubts on taking it even though she said it would be fine to take while breastfeeding. Your thoughts & comments are appreciated!

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:26 PM on Apr. 9, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (14)
  • It is generally not recommended, and yes most anti depressants can make you gain weight. Regardless of how much they say the medicine does not effect the baby, it did take its toles on my daughter.

    When she was first born, she was not active. Four hours later she was not eating. Apparently the meds had made her extremely drowsy. She was in the NICU with a cleft palate, numerous issues with her heart, etc... This is all after my doctor told me the medicines were safe. She had to be on a heart monitor for about 7 months after she was born... And she wasn't released from the NICU til she was 2 months.

    I just would not trust any of it. I've had two other kids and both have been perfectly healthy, 10 and 10 on APGARS. I completely believe 100% that is was the meds I was on. So, IMO I would never be pregnant again OR breastfeed on those meds.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:32 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • Antidepressants are not contraindicated for breastfeediing mothers. Zoloft is considered the safest for breastfeeding mothers.

    The Anon. mother's baby had birth defects. Birth defects happen when a woman is pregnant.

    Sometime women have to be on meds when they are breastfeeding. I developed several very bad medical conditions while I was pregnant with my youngest son and was diagnosed with cancer when he was 6 weeks old. I was often on 10 meds at a time and I breastfed him way beyond a year. The benefits of breastfeeding still outweighed the risks of formula.


    Answer by Gailll at 3:44 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • Per Dr. Thomas Hale, the nation's leading expert on medications and mother's milk, Zoloft is the preferred antidepressant for nursing moms.

    Anon :32, I'm sorry for the problems you went through...but your baby was born with these issues. That's a completely different kettle o'fish. Crazykiss...same deal. You CANNOT compare what happens while pregnant to what happens while breastfeeding. Once you've birthed, it's a whole new ball game and the restrictions of pregnancy are gone. There are some new considerations while nursing, but they are more toward what impacts supply than what impacts the baby, because the process of making milk is such an excellent filter.

    OP, drop by the Breastfeeding Moms group and you will meet DOZENS of moms who've been on Zoloft and other meds with no issues.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:53 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • Actually, not all drugs you take are in your breastmilk. Milk glands are modified sweat glands and the milk is made in the gland. Not all drugs are in the milk.

    I found some info an a website that is considered by most to be the best breastfeeding website. Make sure you go all the way down and read what Dr. Hale says. He is THE expert on drugs and human milk. Dr. Green is not a breastfeeding expert.


    Answer by Gailll at 3:54 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • yeah, taking meds while pregnant and breastfeeding are different.

    I would say it's worth a try, if it doesn't work, or if you have a bad feeling after taking it then stop!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:54 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • I took Wellbutrin XL 200 mg. I forgot them for about a week, and it made my 2 month old cranky. I went back on them, and she was fine again. When I was ready to go off, my doc did a step down for me, gradually reducing the amount I got. She had no trouble then, and she was 4 months.

    Zoloft is one of the drugs that is considered as safe as can be without more testing. And testing on babies is unethical, so therefore, it's as safe as we'll ever know. In making any medication decision, you need to weigh the risks and the benefits. I say the risk of needing an antidepressant and not taking it can be significant. The risk to the baby through your milk is minimal (esp with zoloft), and people forget this, but there are also risks to using formula. In your siutation, one of the risks is a disruption in horomones if you had to abruptly wean. That can throw your already overwhelmed body out of whack.

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 4:15 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • First anon, if I was in your situation, I'd be scared to try again, too. I'm so sorry. I will say with bf, the drugs that actually get to the baby are minimal, unlike through the placenta. But, yeah, in your situation, I wouldn't be able to try again.

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 4:17 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • I began taking Zoloft shortly after giving birth to my second child and remained on it while nursing him- carrying my third child and subsequently nursing him. I was previously on Effexor while pregnant and nursing my first child and pregnant with the second. None of my children have had any trouble at all, I never noticed anything different as young babies. They were active, happy and normal little ones. :-)

    There is a lot of research out there, read up on it.

    Answer by HistoryMamaX3 at 7:02 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • best thing while I took while brestfeeding was celxa, my mom took while brestfeeding, worked for her worked for me, and I loved it. I stopped taking it becuase I no longer need it. But that is what I suggest to mothers for depression.

    Answer by Bookoholic at 10:16 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

  • I take Zoloft and am still breastfeeding. My doctor told me that it is the most compatible anytodepressant for breastfeeding, and the online research I did backs that up.
    Feel better soon! I know starting antidepressants is one of the best things I have eve done, and I wish I had started sooner :)

    Answer by sunshine82 at 11:30 PM on Apr. 9, 2010

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