Antidepressants and Breastfeeding The Question: Should pregnant women continue to take their antidepressant medicine while breastfeeding?

The Study: Researchers in Australia analyzed data on 368 Danish women who were taking antidepressants prior to becoming pregnant. They looked at the outcomes of the pregnancy and breastfeeding patterns of the women who continued their antidepressants and those who stopped their medicine during pregnancy.

The Results: Two-thirds of the women stopped their antidepressant when learning they were pregnant or when they started breastfeeding. These women were much more likely to stop breastfeeding before the recommended six months. The third that continued their antidepressant medicine were more successful in breastfeeding to six months and beyond.

Comment: The fewer medicines pregnant and breastfeeding women take the better. But sometimes the benefits of the medicine outweigh the risks to the baby. In this study, the researchers concluded “On the balance of it, we believe that continuing to take antidepressant medication and maintaining regular breastfeeding will be the best outcome for both the baby and the mother.”

Read More: Medical Press, 4/10/14

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From issue: 29/09-10