Depression in Women
Breastfeeding and DepressionIf you stopped taking your medication during pregnancy, you may need to begin taking it again after delivery. Be aware that because your medication can be passed into your breast milk, breastfeeding may pose some risk for a nursing infant.
However, a number of depression research studies indicate that certain antidepressants, such as some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been proven to be relatively safe during breastfeeding. SSRIs are a class of antidepressants used to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Sertraline (Zoloft®) is one example.
You should talk with your healthcare provider about whether breastfeeding is an option or if you should plan to feed your baby formula. While breastfeeding has some advantages for your baby, what is most important is that you, as a mother, stay healthy so that you can take care of your baby.
Many women are particularly vulnerable to depression after the birth of a baby. The hormonal and physical changes, as well as the added responsibility of a new life, can be factors that lead to postpartum depression in some women.
While temporary "baby blues" are common in new mothers, a full-blown depressive episode is not a normal occurrence and requires active intervention. Getting treatment from a sympathetic physician is important. Also, the family's emotional support for the new mother plays a prime role in helping her to recover her physical and mental well-being and her ability to care for and enjoy the infant.
(Click Postpartum Depression for more information.)