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Thread: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    41

    Unhappy Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    My husband and I just changed our 1-year old DD's doctor to someone who was pro-breastfeeding past one year. All of the doctor's we've seen in this clinic have been telling me that I probably don't have enough milk, that I'm makinng my DD too fat, that I need to wean totally or at least drop back nursings to three times per day so we can move towards total weaning. Now that the new pediatrician supports us...my doctor diagnoses me as having postpartum depression and tells me to wean!!

    She has prescribed Lexapro (there are ads for Lexapro throughout the office), something which apparently hasn't been tested for nursing moms. Has anyone else used Lexapro? I told my doctor I didn't want to wean and she told me it was better to have a healthy mom and that my baby doesn't need breastmilk anymore. I read that Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft may be better for nursing moms.

    I do believe I have postpartum depression. My daughter was also born with a medical condition that has made things harder. But I don't want to sacrifice nursing to deal with this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    There are certainly moms who nurse and take antidepressants. I would get a hold of the information in Dr. Hale's Medications and Mother's Milk so you can discuss the best medication option with your doctor. She obviously doesn't understand the relationship part of breastfeeding and that it's about so much more than "just" the milk your daughter is getting. Personally, at 18 months, weaning would be very stressful for both DS and I and I wouldn't think adding stress to ppd would be a good thing. If she won't budge, I would see someone else.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    315

    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    There are definitely BF "friendly" antidepressants out there. I believe both Zoloft and Paxil are, but you would definitely want to check with your doctor and he link that the PP posted. I wonder if the pharmaceutical company that makes Lexapro is giving your doctor incentives for promoting it. It makes you wonder!

    Good luck!!!
    Mom to a beautiful little girl-born June 27th, 2006



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    41

    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    Thanks. I think ending one of the biggest joys of motherhood to promote future happiness seems like the wrong thing to do. And DD uses nursing for everything -- she falls asleep nursing, nurses to satisfy hunger, nurses to calm down when she is frustrated. It's some of the only times in the day I get to have quiet and rest and hugs with my girl. I think it would be horrible for the whole family!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    4,160

    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    I would be so offended by all of that you are describing.

    At least you found a pedi that falls in line with your feelings about BF'ing past one. Sounds like you might need to find another doctor for yourself though, is that a possibility?

    I always understood BF'ing to be one of the best things for PPD-
    Lisa

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    18,063

    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    I posted on your other thread!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Durham, NC
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    723

    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    Search any meds you are interested in here:

    http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT

    This is the Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) - A peer-reviewed and fully referenced database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. Among the data included are maternal and infant levels of drugs, possible effects on breastfed infants and on lactation, and alternate drugs to consider.

    I put in Lexapro in the search for you and this was one of the first sentences:
    "Limited information indicates that maternal doses of escitalopram up to 20 mg daily produce low levels in milk and would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants, especially if the infant is older than 2 months."

    Good luck to you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    i was on lexapro briefly, pre-baby. it helped me dig myself out of an emotional black hole, and then i went off of it. looking back on that time, i'm glad i went on it, but i could've done other things to lessen my depression. have you read anything about the link between regular exercise and depression? i think some studies exploring that have been in the news recently.

    i have dealt with my fair share of anti-BF doctors. they are so frustrating! it sounds like you know what's best for you and your baby. just follow your heart.
    Jean
    proud mama to ds, born 8/3/06, 11 lbs 14 oz, 24", now 35 lbs, 35", self-weaned at 20 months
    expecting baby boy #2 on 7/21/08, hoping for a VBAC

  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Far away
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    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    Quote Originally Posted by I-Man's Momma View Post
    There are certainly moms who nurse and take antidepressants. I would get a hold of the information in Dr. Hale's Medications and Mother's Milk so you can discuss the best medication option with your doctor. She obviously doesn't understand the relationship part of breastfeeding and that it's about so much more than "just" the milk your daughter is getting. Personally, at 18 months, weaning would be very stressful for both DS and I and I wouldn't think adding stress to ppd would be a good thing. If she won't budge, I would see someone else.
    I totally agree. And to you from a fellow sufferer of depression (PPD and regular all-the-time depression.) I've decided to try and manage it without meds but it's hard.

    PM me if you need someone to listen and support you!
    Andrea - mama to Laith 02.20.07 and Sommer 01.21.11
    'Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.' - Noam Chomsky

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Postpartum Depression + Nursing

    Thanks so much! You've given me the courage to call another doctor to get a second opinion -- and this doctor is pro-extended nursing. I agree with the first doctor in that I don't want DD to get medicine she doesn't need. But I think she could have also considered other medicines that work better with nursing.

    It's so hard to go against your doctor -- there's a power dynamic that makes you feel like maybe you don't know enough to question. This is a good lesson that doctors don't always know best and you need to follow your gut. Thanks again.

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