Yet another breastfeeding question... Breastfeeding and depression medication

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Earthy Mama, May 24, 2006.

  1. Earthy Mama

    Earthy Mama Feel my wrath... ;)

    I am really trying hard lately to not be depressed and do things to make myself feel better. I've been exersizing, spending alot more time out doors playing with the kids, cutting out caffiene and fried foods. Now I am feeling better but the post partum is still there, I've still been very touchy and sensitive about things and mopey at times. I hate medication and really don't want to go to a doctor because I know all he is going to suggest is to take depression medication if I'm even able to while BFing. So, anyone have any experiance with natural herbal medication and BFing? I've been researching it a little bit and am interested in suggestions and things others have found helpful.
  2. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    We know that Zoloft and Paxil are not even found in the milk of breastfeeding mothers in measurable quantities. These are the best ones to try. Prozac can cause severe irritability in the infant, so unless you have been on a number of antidx and this is the ONLY one which works for you, use something else.

    Mothers have also had luck with Welbutrin and Effexor. If you are biPolar, it is hard to continuously take Lithium levels on the baby (which is what is requred if you take Lithium) but many of the anticonvulsant drugs now being used for BiPolar Disorder are completely compatible with breastfeeding.

    A mama who is healthy is good for a baby. Human milk with neglible quanities of some medication in her milk is less of a danger to a baby than a mama who is so sad she isn't responding properly. It is NOT your fault you are depressed. You CAN be treated while nursing, and you and your baby can both be well and happy.

    One thing to remember, counseling is just as important for depression as medication. The best treatment option is medication plus therapy.

    One more thing DO NOT take herbs like St John's Wort while breastfeeding. Not only are they NOT effective for REAL depression, but they may contain things like MAO inhibitors, which are really dangerous for YOU as well as the baby. And seeing as there is no way to know which samples of these herbs contain MAO in measurable quantites, you just don't know. If herbs worked on depression as well as safe pharmaceuticals do, there would never have been a need to have developed the pharmaceuticals in the first place.

    Also, never mix St John's Wort with prescription antidepressants. IF SJW actually causes changes in the uptake of seratonin (and if it didn't do this, OR be a MAO inhibitor there is no way it could in any way effect depression, as these are the active systems in depression, which antidpressive drugs work on.) because it could cause a seratonin syndrome or overdose. Thing is, we don't see Seratonin Syndrome with people mix SJW with reall SSRIs. Why? SJW most likely has no measueable effect on the seratonin system. But, to be safe, stay away from it anyway.

    See a good doctor (preferable a psychaitrist who KNOWS breastfeeding mothers) and you get the treatment you need.

    Good luck honey. Many of us have been there, and with the right treatment and the right doctor and therapist we all made it back doing well.

  3. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    SOme updated info on St John's Wort regarding it's saftey.

    This is from Dr Thomas Hale's Website for HCPs who work with bf mothers.

    I assume newer thinking has now said that perhaps SJW contains no measurable amounts of MAOs in most samples. If it doesn't contain this drug as an antidepressant, how does it work? Well, despite claims that it "effects seratonin levels" most research finds this not true. Even if it does, the levels are too low to have an effect on real depression. (By real depression, I mean the kind that is called "moderate to severe depression" if someone is "mildly depressed" then, in the opinion of most, they don't need drugs. If actions like the ones you have taken are not succesful in alleviatijng the depression, then it is more than just "mild" and you want something that WORKS. If you are going to put a drug into your body (and St Johns Wort IF it does what it's proponants claim) IS a drug, as much of a drug as Zoloft. Only Zoloft works better, that goes without challenge.

    You can get better, but you have to go with what works. What really works. And with a housefull of kids, you don't want to have to mess around with months on useless "trials" of herbs, when we know, for real, full blown depression, pharmeceuticals just work better, and have safety records which are as good, or better than many herbs. (the latest word is that SJW works well for "mild depresion" but "mild" depression first of all doesnt NEED drugs of any kind, and also "mild" depression is extremely reactive to placebos. It does NOT sound like what you have is "mild" so you need to get the medication which works the best, while being safe for you and your baby. Zoloft, Paxil and a few other antidx fit the bill for this one. Please talk to your doctor. A good doctor will know this, or at least look it up. A doctor who tells you you "have to" wean to use these drugs, or INSISTS on Prozac needs to be immediately replaced. A doctor like this has not done his or her homework.

    Herbs ARE drugs, if there weren't they wouldn't work at all.

    Blessings towards your recovery. We are all pulling for you. :)
  4. ever thought about self medicating with Canabis Sativa? it really is a great all purpose medication.
  5. Kastenfrosch

    Kastenfrosch Blaubeerkuchen!! HipForums Supporter

    cannabis can cause a latent mental ilness to come out, or be more severe. In other cases in can help. I think that in this case, having read the first threat concerning this subject, self medication with cannabis is not an option!!
  6. hmm, i've not heard this info before. do you have a link?
  7. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    I have good luck adding some motherwort to my herbal tea blend. It takes the edge off, helps reduce panic and anxiety. After my first child was born, I had no idea I was depressed until the fog lifted and I came out of it. In hindsight, I should have been seeing a therapist or counsellor for the post traumatic stress from the horrors of what they did to me in the hospital. With my second child, I ate the placenta and had no post-natal depression, not even the "baby blues" my OB says everyone gets. You can sometimes find dry powdered placenta (like from cows or other critters) in Chinese markets. I would try that before taking drugs, and keep it in mind if you ever have more babies.

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