ADDING TO OUR DISCUSSION ABOUT PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATION, we asked BreastFeeding Bootcamp columnist Maria Parlapiano this question:
Q: Are antidepressants OK to take while pregnant or breastfeeding?
A good question, as more and more women are seeking help for depression.
Great care and concern must be taken when deciding to continue taking medications while pregnant or breastfeeding. Among other factors, the decision needs to take into account the known benefits of breastfeeding, specifically in regard to the development of the infant brain, and the known risks of formula feeding.
Open dialog between the mother, doctor, therapist, and lactation consultant is essential to formulating a plan. The medication choices during pregnancy are limited to the use of Prozac, which, oddly enough, is not considered the best choice for use after delivery.
The best choices for antidepressants after birth are Zoloft and Paxil. These drugs have been used with great success and, thus far, have shown minimal to no adverse effects to the breastfed infant.
Maria Parlapiano is the owner of Postpartum Place, formerly the Lactation Resource Center, in Chatham, NJ, an invaluable center for new and nursing mothers for support, equipment and information. Go to www.everythingmom.com, OR call her TOLL FREE, twenty-fours hours, seven days a week, at 1-800-801-MILK.