As you likely know, everything that you put in your body makes its way – albeit in trace amounts – through your breast milk and into your baby. This creates challenges for people who are using prescription medication. This article discusses the preferred antidepressant in breastfeeding.
Issues With Using Medication While Breastfeeding
Medication may cause issues while breastfeeding. While certain drugs, such as opiate painkillers, are restricted in all but the most serious cases for pregnant women, all drugs taken will pass through your bloodstream, into your milk, and into your child.
However, some medications are less potent. Certain drugs are far less likely to interact with your young child than others.
In fact, research reveals that the body excretes drugs at a vastly different rate depending on what drugs they are. Science doesn’t have a lot of conclusive answers regarding exactly how much of a drug will make it into your baby’s blood serum.
Ultimately, you are going to be faced with a choice here.
- You could breastfeed your child and run the risk of the psychiatric medicine affecting them
- It might be possible to stop taking your medication prior to childbirth or pregnancy, alongside your doctor’s discretion, but risk being mentally unstable during the early stages of your child’s life
- You could use alternative breast milk or simply avoid breastfeeding whatsoever
What Is the Preferred Antidepressant in Breastfeeding?
Not everyone is able to suddenly stop taking their medication. If you believe that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of your baby consuming medication, you may want to learn more about the best antidepressants for someone who is breastfeeding.
SSRIs, the most common class of antidepressants, are generally considered relatively safe for parents to take when they are breastfeeding.
A fair amount of research has been done in this regard. It is certain that the medication does reach the infant. However, the research concludes that serious complications are unlikely.
The most common antidepressants for use during breastfeeding are:
- Sertraline and paroxetine, both SSRI medications
- Nortriptyline and imipramine, both TCA medications
If you are using an antidepressant that was developed or released more recently, then it is unlikely that there will be sufficient research for you to draw a conclusion.
Furthermore, there has not been a lot of long-term study done in this area. SSRIs have only been around for a few decades so there haven’t been many long-term studies assessing infants who were breastfed with antidepressants.
Another thing to be aware of is the use of antidepressants during pregnancy. A fetus is much more vulnerable to the effects of drugs than an infant.
In either case, the reality is that the long-term safety of this issue isn’t fully understood. However, few obvious short-term problems emerge when breastfeeding.
Deciding whether or not to start breastfeeding with antidepressants can be a challenging choice. On one hand, you may risk your child’s health, but on the other, you risk your mental health.
If you’re not yet pregnant but you’re preparing to have a child, you may want to consider joining a group like Surviving Antidepressants.