When you're pregnant or breastfeeding, just about everything you eat and drink gets passed on to your baby—which is why so many moms and moms-to-be are leery of taking even a little sip of champagne or an antihistamine. But a recent study has shown that one very important class of medications can be A-okay during breastfeeding—antidepressants.
A study by the University of Adelaide shows that taking antidepressants made it more likely that a new mom continued breastfeeding at least through the recommended first six months of babyhood, and that the benefits of breastfeeding clearly outweighed any risks that came with taking the antidepressants.
"This is a really important message because we know that breastfeeding has immense benefits for the child and the mum herself, including a degree of protection against post-natal depression," says NHMRC Early Career Fellow Dr. Luke Grzeskowiak from the Robinson Research Institute, a researcher on the study.
It can be so hard for moms to make that decision to take care of themselves when their medications and treatments can impact their kids. And that was actually a factor in my family's decision to adopt instead having me stop taking medications that could have hurt my unborn child. And so it's wonderful that this study shows that moms can protect their mental health while still protecting their kids' health, too.
Tell me: Did you have to stop taking any of your medications when you were pregnant? How did that impact your health?
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Image: Breastfeeding mom by Svetlana Fedoseyeva/Shutterstock.com