Antidepressants in Breast Milk

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Antidepressants in Breast Milk
6
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 8:47pm
Along with the discussions on how a mother's mental health affects a baby, I thought this study was interesting. Sorry, it's another Medscape article! I will try and see if there is another link.

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.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/453460?mpid=13289&WebLogicSession=PsLWW6zDLyq2obXd2jt6UQRD9VnL4eZoYId2I7Ln16fT9miuK4eY|-5841439536295383573/184161394/6/7001/7001/7002/7002/7001/-1

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 8:54pm
Here is a link that will work:

http://www.hon.ch/News/HSN/512806.html

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 10:38pm
I believe that for me, this potential risk doesn't compare to the benefit. I suffer from PPD and took anti-depressants while bfing my second and will again bfing my third.

I am not 100%positive on this but I believe that PPD gets worse with every child??


christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-16-2003 - 11:37am
I think, from personal experience, that you are rignt. I have three boys, the youngest of which is 7 months. I started taking Effexor two months ago for PPD. I didn't need medication after #1 or #2. The article helped to ease my concerns about nursing while on this med, even though I only nurse twice a day.

Allison and nursling Christopher and ex-nurslings Jonathan and Nico

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-16-2003 - 2:59pm
OT - How are you doing on the Effexor? I am to start that med on Monday as the Celexa I have been taking since June has caused some unacceptable side effects (40 lb wieght gain and VERY irregular and heavy AF). Do you have any side effects?

Just curious as I will be taking this while pg and nursing (that is when I do get pg again!).

Judi


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-16-2003 - 3:10pm
Interesting article. It makes sense to me that bf w/o meds while depressed might have an impact on infant growth. I was speaking with MOTHERISK this morning and they told me that depressed pg women who do not have their depression treated are more likely to give birth prematurely or have lower birth weight babies. So why wouldn't that translate to nursing as well? This is why next time I get pregnant I will be staying on my meds instead of going off them like I did with my first child. I wish I had known this the first time around, maybe I would have had the mental strength to push through any nursing problems I encountered.

It all boils down to perceived risk. Some women will not take any meds under any circumstances while pg and nursing, or not want to bf because they are taking meds so they ff. For myself, I feel that the benefits my next child will get from being bf outweigh the risk of taking my antidepressant.

Judi




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 05-16-2003 - 6:39pm
ITA. I believe the biggest benefit would be to bf and take the meds. I also thought this article was interesting and was hoping it could benefit someone.

Sherry