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Would you take Zoloft while Breastfeeding?

If you knew Zoloft would be best for you and we all know breastfeeding is best for baby... would you do both or would you wean baby off breast so you could get the help you need?  My baby is only a month old and I was planning on starting Zoloft on July 1st (why then? Because I recently bought an unlimited month of tanning bed sessions) and I know you're supposed to limit your sun exposure.  So, should I BF for two months only and then start taking Zoloft or should I continue to BF my baby for one year *what I really would like* and start the pills anyway?


Even though, my OB and Pharmacist both say it is safe to take Zoloft while breastfeeding.  My husband and I are skeptical.  With all the news on Zoloft causing birth defects during pregnancy do we know, in a few years there will be news on how bad it if you take it while breastfeeding.  I am just so torn.  I want what is best for my mental state.  A healthy mom makes a happy home.  But, also want best for my baby too that breastmilk offers.  I know, ultimately the decision is up to me, but, I am wanting to hear from mommies who maybe are or were in this situation.  Thank you for any advice.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:35 AM on Jun. 3, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (9)
  • I take antidepressants, but I didn't take any while breastfeeding or while pregnant. If I was having a really bad clinical depression, and I was committed to BF'ing an infant, I would have to make some hard choices. But, just from what I can read in your post, if you feel like you can postpone using your meds for a year, I would do that.

    BTW, I think the tanning bed is a bad idea too IMO. Just use some sunless tanner. Have you done any research on skin cancer? That's a pretty real health threat that's imminent, in other words, there's research out there now that it's bad for you to use tanning beds, it's not a down the road thing.

    Answer by dwmom2008 at 1:14 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • Yes. Most antidepressants are safe while breastfeeding, and it happens to be that Zoloft is the #1 recommended for nursing mothers (safety wise). I would take it if needed, and continue nursing.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 1:36 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • If I was in that situation I have to think very minimal passes through your milk to baby :) Also if you decided no too bf I think it might make you feel worse as time goes on and you would regret it..but if you did decide to stop after a few months remember that ANY breastmilk is better than none..good luck!!! Wish you the best for you and yours :)

    Answer by socalikim at 2:10 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • Thank you ladies.

    TO DWMOM2008: I do know about skin cancer. I used to work for a dermatologist. I am actually doing the tanning bed thing for 1 month to see if it works in helping ease pain for fibromyalgia. Some doctors believe it helps more than sitting outside in the sun. So, I know the risk for skin cancer is there and right now I am willing to take that risk for just one month of tanning just to see if it gives me relief. Fibromyalgia sucks! Plus, a little base tan never looked bad on anyone. I'm deficient on Vitamin D. So, I do take supplements too. I do think when I have a little color, I am not as depressed (for that moment).

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:37 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I do not feel I could postpone taking meds for one year but I want to breastfeed for one year. I'm torn. I want the best for both me and baby...and other babies at home.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 4:40 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • I would and did with 3 kids. The very, very, very small risks of taking Zoloft whiel breastfeeding are significantly less than the risks of formula feeding. The fact that it may cause birth defects during pregnancy is NOT a concern while breastfeeding. When pregnant your blood goes right to the baby. With breastmilk, it has to go from your blood, to the breastmilk where is is a very small concentration. The detectable levels in breastmilk are VERY low. Whenever they have tested the blood of the breastfed babies they have never been able to detect any Zoloft because by the time it gets digested and absorbed by the baby it is such a trace amount.
    Both a depressed mom and/or formula has many more well documented risks than breastfeeding with Zoloft. Keep breastfeeding and take the Zoloft.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 4:48 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • Zoloft is very safe while nursing. I'd be more hesitant about the air supply here in SoCal.

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:58 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • LOL, gdiamante :)

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 5:00 PM on Jun. 3, 2011

  • Of course I would take a medication that is compatible with breastfeeding and continue to breastfed if I needed that medication. With my youngest child I had several serious diseases develop while I was pregnant. I was on at least 10 medications at a time while I breastfed for 2+ years. I breastfed during hospitalizations with pneumonia and septicemia. There are only a few medications that you can't take and breastfeed.

    There are other treatments for depression that can be effective for depression. Antidepressants don't work for everyone. I would consider antidepressants only after I had tried other things.

    Answer by Gailll at 12:31 PM on Jun. 4, 2011

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