October 24th, 2011
01:38 PM ET

Is it OK to take antidepressants while breast-feeding?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it's pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

Asked by Eliza from Indiana

I recently had my first baby and just learned I have OCD. My doctor put me on a very low dose of antidepressant and my symptoms are much better. I am breast-feeding my son and don't want to use formula but am worried about side effects. What problems should I look for?

Expert answer

Thanks for your question, and congratulations on your baby! OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, has been found in some studies to be more common in post-partum women. When unwanted thoughts and compulsive behaviors become intrusive or harmful to the new mom and/or her baby, an antidepressant or other medication may be helpful.

Anything that a mother ingests can be transferred in varying amounts through breast milk to the baby. Antidepressants can be found in low or undetectable amounts in nursing infants. Depending on the exact medicine, the baby may not show any side effects, although some antidepressants have been reported to cause crying, fussiness, sleep problems, poor growth, and even seizures.

Ask our expert doctors a question

Reactions to medications in breast-feeding babies tend to be more common under 6 months of age and are usually temporary. It is not well known, however, what long-term effects these medications might have on a child's development. To minimize short-term problems, it may be helpful to time the dosing of medication to occur right after the baby has breast-fed or before a long stretch of sleep. Also, both mom and baby should be monitored closely by their respective physicians.

The benefits of breast-feeding a baby often outweigh the risks of exposure to an antidepressant, and parents with treated medical (including mental health) problems are generally better able to care for their babies. I therefore encourage mothers to talk with their physicians about best medication choices and nonmedical treatments that are safe to use while breast-feeding.

Follow Dr. Shu on Twitter

soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. JbsdEncox

    cheap canadian drugs http://onlinecanda21.com/ medication costs

    April 22, 2021 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AbdgEncox

    safeway pharmacy https://canadianeve21.com/ Isoptin

    April 23, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. LhdvZisse

    back pain from cialis https://asciled.com/ – cialis on line buy generic cialis generic cialis

    April 23, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RfvbZisse

    cialis without prescription https://cileve.com/ cheapest cialis canada

    April 23, 2021 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. FbsfEncox

    Viagra Super Active https://uspharmus.com/ Avalide

    April 24, 2021 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. LhdvZisse

    cialis without persriction http://asciled.com/ – cialis black is it safe cialis 20 mg

    April 25, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. JbsdEncox

    online pharmacy without a prescription http://onlinecanda21.com/ best online pharmacy

    April 25, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RfvbZisse

    cialis online pharmacy australian http://cileve.com/ – cialis super active 20 mg us pharmacy cialis

    April 26, 2021 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. LrbsEncox

    super active levitra https://uslevitraanna.com/ levitra 10 mg schmelztabletten preisvergleich

    April 27, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. AbdgEncox

    Protonix https://canadianeve21.com/ – cheap prescription drugs mexican pharmacies

    April 27, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. FbsfEncox

    Levitra Oral Jelly https://uspharmus.com/ canadian online pharmacies legitimate

    April 27, 2021 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. GvdbCrulk

    cheapest tadalafil generic https://boxtadafil.com/ mylan tadalafil

    April 28, 2021 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. BbdfMile

    indian viagra https://gensitecil.com/ natural alternatives to viagra

    April 28, 2021 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. LhdvZisse

    5mg of cialis http://asciled.com/ – buy cialis online in australia cialis canadian pharmacy no prescription

    April 29, 2021 at 04:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RfvbZisse

    buy cialis ireland http://cileve.com/ cialis viagra australia

    April 29, 2021 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. LrbsEncox

    levitra 20mg vs viagra 100mg levitra images levitra oral jelly

    April 30, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. JbsdEncox

    online pharmacies in usa http://onlinecanda21.com/ Maxalt

    April 30, 2021 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. GvdbCrulk

    buy tadalafil online paypal https://boxtadafil.com/ – cialis tadalafil 10 mg tadalafil generic cialis 20mg

    April 30, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. AbdgEncox

    canadadrugs https://canadianeve21.com/ canada drugs direct

    April 30, 2021 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. BbdfMile

    cheap generic viagra https://gensitecil.com/ coupons for viagra

    May 1, 2021 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LhdvZisse

    cialis without prescription http://asciled.com/ – free cialis samples generic cialis 5 mg

    May 2, 2021 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. FbsfEncox

    Accupril https://uspharmus.com/ prescription drugs without doctor approval

    May 2, 2021 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. LebnEncox

    canadian drug pharmacy https://xlnpharmacy.com/ Biaxin

    May 3, 2021 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. JebgEncox

    maple leaf pharmacy in canada http://pharmacylo.com/ Methocarbamol

    May 3, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. AnooEncox

    100 mg viagra reviews https://llviagra.com/ sofia vergara un viagra natural

    May 3, 2021 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. LbsoZisse

    cialis mastercard https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis 10mg canada

    May 4, 2021 at 03:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RebfZisse

    cialis with out perscription https://rcialisgl.com/ – online doctor cialis cialis daily dose

    May 4, 2021 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. FmrfEncox

    buy cialis singapore https://cialisee.com/ cialis black online

    May 5, 2021 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. LbsoZisse

    cialis in australia http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis generic cambodia

    May 6, 2021 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. JebgEncox

    canadian viagra generic pharmacy https://pharmacylo.com/ Zyrtec

    May 7, 2021 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RebfZisse

    cialis from india https://rcialisgl.com/ – where to buy cialis online purchase cialis online canadian

    May 7, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. GtnbCrulk

    viagra dosage for 70 year old https://jokviagra.com/ cialis vs. viagra recreational use

    May 8, 2021 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Leave a Reply to AbgcEncox


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.