There have been several new moms visiting this blog who have shared their concern about taking anti-depressants while breastfeeding. There are so many mixed messages on this out there -- doctors saying that it's perfectly fine, that moms need to take care of themselves first in order to take care of their babies; or that there is a risk, but it's so minimal to not really count. Then there are those who say that even a minimal risk is still a risk, so why risk it?
A recent study came out from the New England Journal of Medicine that concluded that women do not increase the risk of birth defects in their babies by taking anti-depressants while pregnant or breastfeeding. And yet it also stated that "drugs such as Celexa, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft may increase the risk for certain defects, but, even then, the absolute risk is extremely small." AND it also stated that "even if a certain drug increased rates by a factor of four, the risk of having a child affected by the problem would still be less than 1 percent."
Bottom line, and what no one seems to be talking about, is the fact that this study was funded by a few pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Paxil.
Hmmmm.... what does that tell you?
In any case, when I was pregnant, I would never have entertained the thought of having even a single glass of wine, much less a drug that hasn't been completely tested in children, let alone infants. I don't know, but it seems like common sense to avoid anti-depressants while pregnant and breastfeeding.
What do you think? I'd love to hear about your own experience with or without medication.