Antidepressants in Breast Milk
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|Thu, 05-15-2003 - 8:47pm|
This speaks of a major depressive episode lasting longer than two months. I would be interested in knowing how milder depression affects the baby's health.
Exposure to Antidepressants in Breast Milk Does Not Affect Infant Weight Gain
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) May 05 - Nursing mothers who take antidepressants are not placing their infants at increased risk for poor weight gain, new study findings suggest. In fact, by reducing the mother's risk of a major depressive episode, the use of such drugs may actually protect against poor weight gain.
"Our study showed no evidence that children's physical development is harmed by exposure to antidepressants through breast milk, whereas there is evidence that children are harmed by exposure to maternal depression," lead author Dr. Victoria Hendrick, from the University of California at Los Angeles, said in a statement.
The findings are based on a study of 78 breast-feeding mothers who were taking antidepressant medications. Maternal mood was assessed during the 6 months following delivery. Pediatric records were reviewed to determine infant weights.
The weights of the study infants at 6 months were not significantly different from those seen in a normative population, the researchers report in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. However, infants of mothers who experienced a major depressive episode lasting at least 2 months did weigh significantly less than other infants.
"To our knowledge our study is the first to compare the impact of maternal depression and use of antidepressants on nursing infants' weight gain," the authors note. The findings suggest that maternal depression has a greater impact on infant growth than exposure to antidepressants through breast milk, they add.
J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64:000-000.