BF and depression :(

Kelsi - posted on 01/31/2011 ( 42 moms have responded )

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Just to make things clear I do not have postpartum psychosis. I have never ever once felt like harming or neglecting my children. They are my world and they are the reason I fight this and want to get better. I literally love them more than life itself. I have terrible low self esteem and anxiety. I have struggled with depression/anxiety for a few years but have really no logical reason to feel this way, I have a wonderful life. I have recently found out that a lot of women in my family have struggled with depression so i'm guessing I'm just wacked out and probably hormones from birth control and having babies the past few years just amplified it.



I wanted a medication free pregnancy but I got so depressed that I ended up going on a low dose of a "pregnancy/BF" approved SSRI for the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy. I was on it for the first month after then weaned myself off after a few more weeks because i had a feeling it was causing problems for my little one. suddenly my colicy little boy turned into the happiest little baby. I feel horrible for going against my gut feeling and taking the meds. I felt great up until recently and have LOVED the breast feeding experience just as much as my little boy. But now my husband who has been anti-breastfeeding since the beginning is really pressuring me to wean him and go back on meds.



I have tried journal writing, joining playgroups, making new friends, outdoor activities, eating healthier, exercise, etc to try and help, but I am still really struggling. I'm mad that I feel this way and that I can't just will it to go away. I really don't want to give up BF (my son is only 8 months old and wanted to go to at least a year, preferably just let him decide when he's done) I love it for SOOOO many reasons and really believe it's the best for my baby (probably don't have to tell you all how great it is) but I think I need a little extra help.



Does anyone know or have experience with any natural supplementation that may help me that can also allow me to continue to BF. It's going to break my heart to wean him. :( Or at least anyone that has been there and can share their experience?



thank you,

a sad little mommy

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Tara - posted on 02/06/2011

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Hi Kelsi, I'm sorry to hear about your struggles, but I must admit it is of some comfort to hear about someone going through exactly what I went through over the last couple years. I have struggled with depression for years and have a 2 and a 4 yr old that I breastfed for as long as I could! I was also very anti-medication as I didn't respond well to it, but when there are kids to take care of, you have to do something. You are doing great just to be seeking out that help and sticking to your guns on the bf!
The doctors usually tell you that the medication will not affect the baby, and some babies it might not, but there are not enough studies on the long-term effects of those types of brain chemistry changing chemicals in your breast milk... The studies that have been done have been largely inconclusive and there is mounting evidence on both sides of the argument, but there are studies that say while bf it's not the best idea... I'm not against medication in general and I certainly don't mean to alarm you in any way, I just wanted to let you know that there ARE other alternatives that you can guarantee will be safe for your baby.
When I was in the exact pickle you are in (seems like you have to choose between the health of your baby and your own health. How do you make a decision like that??) I found many natural supplements that could help - fatty acids such as Omega-3's and GABA, St. John's Wort, Selenium, and B and D vitamins. However, what really helped me was a Naturopathic doctor. Their job is to look at your symptoms and help you find the perfect supplement for your individual chemistry. They tend to be a bit on the naturalistic side of the spectrum so very supportive and knowledgeable about bf. That way you can get feeling better and you don't ever have to worry about your baby! Here is a link where you can find Naturopathic docs in your area: http://www.naturopathic.org/AF_MemberDir...
Hope this helps and that you are on the upswing soon!

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2011

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I want to send you a hug and let you know that I understand what you are going through. I have suffered from bipolar depression, and I know how awful it can feel to feel anxious when the phone rings, not feel like getting out of bed or doing anything, made 4x worse by the guilt of all the things you feel you should be doing as a mom.

I was very fortunate that my symptoms completely went away during pregnancy and I was able to stay off my meds for my entire pregnancy with my daughter, and then BF for about 7 mos before they returned. At that point, I had a pretty debilitating depression, and after a month of struggling, decided to wean her quickly and go back on my meds. She did fine, but I was very sad about it.

She is almost 7 now, and I have a son, Tristan, who is 21 mos. I also went off my meds when I found out I was pregs with him, and am so pleased to report that I have stayed off thus far, and Tristan is still BFing. Now, I am ready for him to wean! If only I could get him to stop moaning "Boobie, Boobie" from his crib at 4am...

I have had one recurrence of the depression since I had him, but I waited it out rather than jumping to wean like last time. This was about a year ago. My family was also pressuring me at the time to go back on my meds, but I waited it out because my son was so attached and nursing was/is his only comfort.

As for what has made this possible, I think there are a few things: First, when I experienced the depression, I took my mom's suggestion of cutting down on solids and increasing feedings. I realized the corrolation between the 7-9 mos age mark and the return of depression- this was as both of my kids were cutting down on BF as a result of feeding solids, and therefore caused a hormone shift in me.

Also, try to avoid all alcohol and caffeine, as I find these to be triggers. Start your day with lean protein (I recommend Isagenix IsaLean shakes, http://www.ocsurf.isagenix.com, if you're interested). Eat lots of good organic fruits and veggies and green tea. Get plenty of rest and try to stay on a stable sleep schedule (if possible with a baby! LOL)

Hope that helps! Hang in there, you CAN do this. And if it gets too bad, don't feel badly if you decide to go back on meds- what your baby needs most is a healthy, happy Mama, and 8 mos of BFing is more than 75% of the American population does, so cheers to you!

Lea-Andra - posted on 02/05/2011

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I am going to suggest this just in case. I have dealt with depression before being pregnant and was warned that because of that you are at higher risk for PPD. I never wanted to hurt my daughter, I only wanted to go away for a bit. As it turned out I didn't have PPD even though all the signs were there, I had a hypothyroid. My councellor wanted me to take meds for PPD and I went to my doctor first and got blood tests done. Maybe look into that. Also try these things if you can as they were suggested to me:
1. Get out once a week for you and only you.
2. Try and go for a walk once a day if possible.
3. if you have an sig. other, go on a date night
You really need time for yourself. You can always try these things first before meds. But there are meds that you can take while BF. Good luck and *hugs*

Kasie - posted on 02/05/2011

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You could try 5-HTP, you can get it in any pharmacy, its an otc medicine. The only thing you can do is take something for it because it isn't you it's your body. It's the serotonin in your body that's needs balancing so I would talk to a doctor about it. There is nothing wrong with you. And, there is nothing wrong with taking meds to help your body get to a balanced place so you don't feel like this anymore. I think, before you take anything, you should talk to a doctor about how you should go about it though. If you need to, you can see a doctor that believes in herbal remedies and stuff, I know that not all doctors are open to different things. I haven't had to deal with it while being pregnant or after I had my son but before I was pregnant I was on meds for a few years because I dealt with depression and no matter what I did or tried, I couldn't fix it. So, I had to take prozac and that helped me out a lot.

Lydia - posted on 02/01/2011

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if you feel you need to go back on medication maybe you can see and find out if there is something you can take that is safe during breastfeeding and maybe it won't cause your baby problems now. i don't know much about depression, but I know that some things (like when i had coffee for example) caused my daughter problems in the beginning but since she's about 6 months old I can have some and she has no trouble with it.

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Jennifer - posted on 02/14/2011

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please don't wean your baby if the two of you are happily breastfeeding....your body is producing hormones that help keep you calm!!
maybe your husband is the one who needs help?
try joining La Leche League for some great peer support.
i know how rough it can be...i have a 4 year old and a 3 month old. hang in there and ask for help when you need it!

Michelle - posted on 02/13/2011

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Hi there! I know a lot of people have written to you already, but wanted to chime in too. I'm expecting #2 and had pretty bad/length PPD w/ baby#1 (who's now 2.5 yrs). I'm seeing a midwife this time instead of ob/gyn, and I'm already taking 2,000 IU of Vitamin D daily, a sublingual Vitamin B6/B12 combo, and fish oil in addition to my prenatal vitamin. I'm already feeling less anxious about PPD and I've only taken this stuff for like 2 weeks. I tried Zoloft while breastfeeding w/ my frist, but found it not helpful. I tried Lexapro a long time later (when almost done BFing) and it got me back to normal. But if you're worried about taking meds while BFing, try those supplements. Oh, and they also recommended Motherwort (maybe its like St Johns wort??) for after the baby comes, so you could try that too!
Best of luck my dear. Know that there are so many people rooting for you! And you are a wonderful momma. xoxo!

Kassandra - posted on 02/13/2011

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I don't have time to read all the replies you've received, so I'm sorry if I'm just repeating! I just wanted to say I got hit unexpectedly with PPD with my third. It manifested more as anxiety for me complete with an awful panic attack. I have BF my other two until they weaned themselves right before 3 years old but I was seriously considering giving up on BFing because everything seemed so overwhelming to me in my mental state. Like you I really didn't want to go on medication but I did research and ask a couple of doctors and I ended up with a script for Zoloft and Xanax. I ended up not taking either because I could see that I was getting a little better, very slowly daily and every day I would give myself one more day... but having the script there if I needed it helped. I also talked to other mom's who used Zoloft and nursed with no apparent issues.
You're doing great! I can tell you what helped me get through it- but it looks like you're already doing it. Talking to any one who would listen, getting out every single day and going for a little walk, especially if the sun was out, yoga and breathing meditation when my anxiety was higher than normal. Breastfeeding! Yes, I kept at it and I gazed at her while she nursed and took deep breaths and tried to relax. It makes me sad to think about it now and gets me choked up because I loved the newborn stage with my other two but with my third I kept thinking that it was too much, it was a mistake and I really just wanted to put her down as much as possible... but I kept nursing and holding her and gazing at her as much as possible and did my best to stay in the moment and take it moment by moment.
I did use a herbal blend for anxiety, which I forget now.... little tincture drops that helped take the edge off some of the time.
Good luck and don't feel bad about doing what you need to do to get through this, even if for you it's using medication!
Best wishes to you!

Windy - posted on 02/13/2011

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Been there and I still fight depression and anxiety every day without taking meds. The best natural solution I have found is Saint John's Wort. You can get it from your local vitamin shoppe or GNC and it even helps those of us who are at the beginning of menopause ;) I wish you the best, honey. You are a warrior and you will conquer this.

Love, Light & Blessings,
Windy Grace

Rebecca - posted on 02/10/2011

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Something to keep in mind for you and your husband is that breastfeeding release hormones that are like natural anti-depressants. So giving up breastfeeding might make things worse for the depression.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2011

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I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. I went through much the same situation after the birth of my twins in '09. It was very hard for me, and though I didn't realize it, very hard for my husband and older daughter. Things for me got worse after I quit BFing them at 4 months, and it got to the point that I would just lock myself in the bathroom for hours and cry. My husband would call his mother over to take care of the kids, and I would just shut down. I finally sought help when they were 7 months old, and though counseling didn't help for me, the medication did. I got pregnant again shortly after starting the meds, and had to be weaned off. My youngest son is now 7 1/2 months old, and I still am off meds, though I can feel myself starting to backslide. My husband is not anti-breast feeding as yours is, but he is selfish and will try to pressure me to stop BFing so he can have his "toys" back, which only makes me feel bad. I am extremely frightened of stopping BFing as I don't want to start the downward spiral again when my hormones go nuts. I have found that getting some down time has helped immensely, though it doesn't fix the problem completely. I don't know of any holistic approaches to help with the depression or anxiety, so I don't know what to tell you there, other than that I hope you're able to find something.
The main thing is to not let things get to the point where you are having a hard time functioning - which is what I did before seeking help. I wish that I would have listened to my husband right away when he said that I should see a dr. I refused to acknowledge that I had a problem until my brother (whom I don't even talk to, other than on holidays), came over and told me that I needed to get help. I figured if someone I hardly see or speak to has noticed that there's something wrong, then it was time to do something.
I really hope that you're able to find something that helps you - I know that I will most likely be back on meds when my son weans himself of the breast, and am not looking forward to it.
Good luck to you!

Angelique - posted on 02/10/2011

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Hi there,

You are a super mommy, dont let anyone tell u otherwise! Breastfeeding is best for your son, but if the big ship is sinking how can it help the little ship..

I too have a family history of depression. I have for the most part of my life struggled with depression, & have been on medication, herbal as well, and tried just about everything. I am no longer on any medication of any form, and I am happy! I enjoy life and love watching my son grow up. Yes, I do still get down days, but I know my body has constant hormonal changes going on throughout the month, and that what I feel will pass.

I owe feeling better to one person: God! Medication helps the symptoms, you need to look at the cause. Im not saying that you do not need medication. It would be a good idea to get a blood test done to find out whats happening in your body, and then take it from there. But when it comes to depression (clinical) I wouldnt recommend any form of medication, even herbal, as they have so many side effects not spoken of. If your spirit is wounded, your body will be wounded. There may be things bothering you that u are unaware of on a conscious level. Just now that God sees your pain and He loves you, all you need to do is call on Him.

Please feel free to chat. Be strong!



You can help ur son by helping urself!

Rachel - posted on 02/09/2011

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There are also herbs and essential oils that help to uplift the mood. Citrus essential oils are good. Have you looked into herbs? A lot of them would be compatible with breastfeeding.
I can relate to your story. Before my babe was born, my husband and I had a couple of actual fights about breast/bottle feeding. He thought breastfeeding was "good" but not the only way. Of course it's not the only way... but I believe it to be the best way. He also wanted to bond with our babe, and thought bottle feeding would give him that. So we started out after she was born with problems. It was painful for her to nurse until we had her adjusted at the chiropractor, then she didn't have a strong latch, was sleepy, etc. This led to a decline in my milk production, on top of having some depression. So it all got worse, and worse, and worse. We supplemented, I pumped. It was a stressful time. By God's grace we made it through that dark time and now we are enjoying a beautiful breastfeeding relationship. I KNOW it can be hard. I know it takes so much work to get on track again. You are doing great! If taking a mild anti-depressant is what it takes, go for it. I would recommend looking at a more holistic alternative too though.
Keep up the great work!

Savona - posted on 02/08/2011

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hmmm.. the only depression Ive ever experienced was the first trimester of my first child. I had TERRIBLE morning sickness that continued through-out the WHOLE pregnancy(Doctors couldnt figure out why this happened) but after the first trimester I learned to cope with it.

I think its fantastical that you are still breast-feeding =D Your bubs tummy and body is probably thanking you for that. As for your depression, Im not sure if my advice will help at all, but when I was depressed I would draw, color, even write short fictional stories. I kind of created my own little world through my new founded art skills and writing capabilities and it helped me through my short term of depression. Perhaps it might help you aswell?

Message me if you would like to talk to someone one on one. *HUG* Im glad that theres still mums like you. =)

Rebecca - posted on 02/08/2011

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My experience with breastfeeding, depression and SSRI are as follows. I had no problems with depression post the birth of my first child. However, I took Prozac (part of SSRI group) during the 15 months that I breastfeed my second child. It was not my preferred option but I did need it to cope. As you mentioned tried everything else ie excercise, playgroups. No problems with colic etc very settled baby. However, after my third one I took lots of high quality omega 3 supplements as I was struggling to keep on top of things. So much that my breastmilk had a fishy smell!! But that was ok good for bubs brain development. This worked until around 11 months I needed to take Zoloft (SSRI group), as my mum had been really ill and this was really too much. This seemed to affect DS negatively, however continued for 6 months and then returned to omega 3. From my experience I would not touch Zoloft again, would try omega 3 and would approach my GP about what else I could take. Still feeding DS at 2.5 years taking omega 3.

Jessica - posted on 02/07/2011

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I'd suggest getting a physical and asking them to run your thyroid, vitamins (especially D) and also check your DHEA level. If your GP won't do it tell you OB to run the blood work. Tell them that it runs in your family and it will give them medical reason to get you down to the lab.

Holly - posted on 02/07/2011

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are hun i know just how you feel iv ben depressed on and off since having my son 5 yrs ago and have ben on all different typs of pills to help i did bf and take pills as well the ones i was on didnt effect my bbies so mayb try different types. the last yr i fell preg with my tilly that the only good thing to come from last yr. the pass year and half has been the worst ever so i know why im depressed by knowing why doesnt make it any easer.
tilly is 6mths+ and im bf her, im seeing some1 for it i find it really really helps i though it couldnt help me but my gp said see some1 or go in to hospital but like u my kids are my world they save me. and there was no way i was leaving them to go in. soo arge to seem some1 now on my 8session im still feelin low and depress but do feel a little better, i would say dont give up bf you r doing amazing thing bf your bby and i think it importanted for u as much as ur bby NOT to give up, i felt under pesser to give up from friends and some family as tilly 6mths but she hates the bottle and im happy to bf her as long as she wants i was unsure for a day or so but i posted something on here and readin other pples messages it gave me a booost hearin other mum who was bf pass 6mths and so made me sick to my guns a say NO i want to bf for as long as tilly want and best is breast ok with a smile even if i didnt feel like smile i did and no they leave me too it lol
the most inportant pple here are ur bby and making u smile (if u know what i mean) if u stick to what u really want and u do it then mayb u get that little bit of a self boost i find the more u try do for u and ur bby will in time give u little bit of self believe u can bet this and the depression only temp even if it doesnt feel like it.
i really really hope this helps even if 1% it a start
take care

[deleted account]

I have bipolar 2, which is more of the depressive side of things. Before November, I was still under the diagnosis of depression. I took Zoloft for three years, stopped until my 3rd trimester in pregnancy, and continued it through breastfeeding. That medication is old enough that they are able to say little goes into the breastmilk, and sometimes the risks are outweighed by the benefits. Consult your doctor though, and it may even be better to consult a holistic practioner or psychaitrist. Sorry, I'm having a bad spelling day today...
Some natural ways are St.John's Wart, although in high doses it can have negative side effects. It also builds up in the body and you have to increase dosage. You can use essential oils for theraputic ways too. Ylang Ylang is a very good mood uplifter and is actually suggested in aromatherapy for depression. As well, cinnamon and bergamot are good ones too. You can use these by doing a steam inhalation daily. You dilute ten drops oil to 1 cup boiling water, with a tbsp of a carrier oil like almond or grapeseed. You can also wear a drop on your clothing. I wear a drop of Ylang Ylang on my bra straps sometimes when I feel a low drop coming... But it is a very strong smell, use a tester first to see if it will be okay with you. Reflexology for therapy is a great tool too, and you can find many practitioners in your areas. I practice it as well, and other holistic spa therapies, hence why I know. Certain pressure points work to unblock some of the things in the brain and nervous system to help control some of the symptoms. Consult the practitioner to see if this is best for you.
In regards, you are still lucky... Since I found out I have BP2, I can't be on meds. All the meds are 100% unsafe for BF, and I won't let my doctor bully me into taking them. I do what I suggested to you to help with the lows, and I have been med free since Dec. Even my husband is surprised how well I am doing. You will still have some hard points without meds though, remember... Depending on how bad your symptoms can get. And remember: No matter what holistic treatment you use, if things get very serious and you are suffering more often than not SEE A DOCTOR! I hope this information helps you, and I would be happy to answer any questions :) Good luck!

Tara - posted on 02/07/2011

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Hi again, Kelsi! I had a friend who found this natural depression remedy online and it worked really well for her: http://www.amoryn.com/
It is rather inexpensive and has many of the supplements I talked about before in it and was incredibly well researched. It says to ask your physician before taking when bf, but most vitamins do too, just for legal reasons. You could just take in the list of ingredients to your regular physician and he would be able to make sure it was safe. Good luck!

Rachael - posted on 02/06/2011

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Being depressed does not make you "whacked out" You obviously care about your little one and know that your depression could affect him. I commend you for nursing throughout all your struggles. It really is amazing for your baby, and could be keeping your depression from being even worse. Journal writing and behavior modification therapy combined with talk therapy (counselor not your spouse or a friend) and activities you enjoy such as meditation, yoga, exercise may be as effective if not more so than medications. I had battled severe depression for several years which made me more vulnerable to post postpartum depression (which does NOT mean you will harm your baby or neglect him) My physician recommended the "mini pill" birth control pill which is breast feeding safe as it keeps some of the hormones which may make depression worse in check. Best of luck to you. Depression is scary and hard to deal with, but you CAN beat it.

Candice - posted on 02/06/2011

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Try niacin(sp?) It's in food so you'll be fine taking extra. Yoga makes for happy people too,mama baby yoga is big fun.

[deleted account]

I had a similar experience take anti depressants after the birth of my first daughter. However I quite the mess and started acupuncture treatments for depression. That was 6 years ago and I know those treatment as well as EMDR and somatic sensing therapy saved me from a life of depression and meds!!! What no one talks about is that something goes on with your body during pregnancy and your not the same. How can I say this? Depression and sadness come from some where. I believe they are a symptom if a life unfulfilled. A soul unaccomplished. Having a child and seeing a new life pass through you is very spiritual. I realize that many people experience depression and it is seemingly genetic but i believe people pass on behaviors that create depression. Read dr. Christiana Northrop's book Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. For me The therapies I mention above helped me let go of negative stagnant energy I was holding onto. Which freed up joy and happiness in my life. So I was able to truly love my child with a free open happy heart. I wish you all the luck finding your JOY!!!

Nina - posted on 02/06/2011

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Hey gorgeous!

So sorry to hear you are having a hard time. :( Been there. 3 times. And nursed the whole way through. I took Wellbutrin for all three bouts of ppd, and all 3 of my kids are fine, ages 15, 12, and 9 now. St. Johns Wort is natural, but it passes through breast milk and makes baby jumpy...I tried that one too. Something you might consider as well is Sottopelle - they treat ppd in Europe with this - it's an injection of hormones specificly compiled for your body. And it's also fine for baby. Hang in there - Make sure you get lots of sunshine and Bvitamins, and let him wean himself - he'll be more secure later if you meet his needs now.

Blessings,
Nina

Kelsi - posted on 02/06/2011

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Tara- I Just searched on the link you suggested. I live in the middle of nowhere and it didn't find any matches around my area. :( I will continue searching though, it's a great idea. I did do a little research on foods containing the Omega-3's and vitamins, etc and it's funny because I realized it was all the stuff I craved when I was pregnant with Logan and my depression was at it's very worst. A lot of people say that pregnancy cravings don't really mean anything but it makes me wonder.


btw, I like your last name! It was my maiden name and Logan's middle name :)

Thank you everyone for your responses!

Aicha - posted on 02/05/2011

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sorry you suffer from depression and that the medication cause your baby to have colic , Do Not feel guilty because you needed medication , there is no shame in needing medication . Some families do have a generic link to depression , what counts is you are actively treating the problem . If you feel the need to talk send me a private message

Jessica - posted on 02/05/2011

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Hi Kelsi, I hope you are doing better. I have a few friends with depression and I know it's a really tough illness to deal with. I'm afraid I don't know which medications are safe with breastfeeding, but I just wanted to give you some encouragement. Oxytoxin is a pretty powerful brain-drug itself, so keeping up the breastfeeding is probably good for your mental health! I hope your psychiatrist has experience in PND and breastfeeding-safe therapies, or that he/she can give you a reference to someone else who can help. Hopefully you can keep breastfeeding and keep sane too. Best wishes from a fellow mama...

Lindsay - posted on 02/05/2011

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You are doing such an amazing job considering everything that is going against you!! the biggest thing that really could change a lot, is getting your husband on board! i know theres a specific statistic somewhere, but in general, most women who don't have the support of their partners fail at breastfeeding, so that is extremely important, getting him to understand how important this is to you, and to your baby, so that he can reach his fullest potential! I would also see a naturopathic doctor, they should be able to get you on some supplements that are 100% baby/breastfeeding friendly, that should balance you, and help your moods

Katie - posted on 02/05/2011

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Just to add, there are natural routes to take to help with depression. For a lot of people those work like a charm. If you can find something natural that works for you all the power to you. For me, personally it was time to let my body recover from years of anxiety and the celexa helped. I am not an avocate for anti depressants and would love to not be on them but at the moment that isn't an option for me. Just didn't want you to think that I was pushing drugs to everyone. :)

Katie - posted on 02/05/2011

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I dont have the time to read all of the responses so I might be repeating people, but sometimes medication is a good idea. I have suffered with anxiety disorder and hypocondriasis since I was a teenager. I avoided meds because I didn't want to rely on something unnatural and I thought I could tough it out on my own. About six months after I had my son things just got to be too much. Like you I never thought of harming him or anything like that, but I was having anxiety attacks that were lasting full 24 hour periods. It was hell. I am still breastfeeding my 14 month old and I am 4 months pregnant with my second and for me a low dose of citalopram (celexa) seems to have been the answer, at least in the short term. I did a lot of reading and a lot of worrying and feeling guilty about being on the meds while breastfeeding and now while pregnant, but I know that me being a basket case is worse for my children then the pills. Thats just my personal situation and it may not be useful at all to you. But there are lots of kinds of meds and you might not be suited to the one they tried for you. Also, you should NEVER feel embarassed about seeing anyone that can help you feel healthier, be it mentally or physically. There is no shame in being depressed or having an anxiety issue and that you are trying to remedy the situation just means that you care about your children and want to be the best you can for them.

[deleted account]

Low dose Cipralex did me and my family a world of good...no reason for the depression just couldn't find joy in anything...I used 5 mg only instead of the 20mg and it was just enough to take the edge off and if i feel i need a bit more I take the 10mg for a few days...finally stopped BF and it was lovely but nice to have my body back...
GL XO Been there...Cha

Brenna - posted on 02/05/2011

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I am 23 and have struggled with depression since 16. Medication just makes mine worse, and we haven't yet found a birth control that doesn't make it worse (we just pay a lot of attention to dates right now). Oh, and counseling has been ineffective as well. Go figure. We tried hormonal supplements, B12 injections, etc., but nothing seems to work.

I am able to keep it under control most days - and on my bad days I'm just lethargic and unwilling to do anything more than feed my kids. This is loads of improvement from how I used to be! I went through a 12 step program for codependency (which I also have a massive struggle with), and ended up being able to apply the lessons learned to my depression. Ultimately I realized my depression is probably going to be something I fight against for the rest of my life, but I don't have to let myself succumb to it. Like, it's okay to feel the feelings as long as I don't let them control me. So I've learned how to shove it to the back of my mind and go on regardless. My doctor also prescribed a companion animal, which also helps a ton. Snuggling with her for a while often turns my bad days around.

I don't know if any of this helps you. I guess I just want to encourage you that it can be dealth with without medication or standard treatment. Find what works for you!

Dora - posted on 02/02/2011

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You made it to the 6 month mark at least. that alone with everything your dealing with is quite an accomplishment. I can understand why your husband wants you to stop breast feeding and try the meds again, he really loves you and cares about you and just wants you to get better. He is doing it out of love. Taking that step to call and make an appt. with a psychiatrist only shows that you are a great mom and are watching out for your little one. My girlfriend saw a psychiatrist and it was the best thing you could of ever done. She talks about it now and is not embarrassed in any way as it really helped her. Hopefully that will help you and you will be able to continue with breast feeding and your husband will see the positive change in you. I wish you nothing but the best.

Sara - posted on 02/02/2011

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I don't have much else to add to what these ladies have already said, but I wanted to give you my support too. Never be embarrassed about reaching out for help - it shows just how strong you really are. I've been dealing with depression since my teens and it took me a long time to admit I needed help. I'm really impressed by your devotion to breastfeeding, too. You sound like an amazing mama. I just wish you had the support at home for BF - might make things a little easier. I hope you find something that helps you soon! Take care. :)

Kelsi - posted on 02/01/2011

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Kathy, that is very true. I'm not meaning to trash talk my husband. He just wants me better and loves me. I love him very much and am very lucky to have him. I just feel i can't talk to him about this stuff without it ending in us both very upset (which is hard because we talk about everything)

The medication I was on before was a low dose of Zoloft (generic) It helped me feel happier but made Logan very fussy and I had other unpleasant side effects too. I lost a lot of weight (105 lbs at 5'6 was too skinny for me) Hadn't thought about trying a different one or that it may not effect him as much now that he's also eating solids and not BF AS much.

I have been feeling very alone in this and thank you all for caring about a total stranger. Thank you.

[deleted account]

Keep up the good work, Kelsi. And NEVER be embarrassed to reach out for help, like making that appointment with the psychiatrist.Asking for help is a sign of strength. If he/she suggest medication, make sure you find som ething that's compatible with breastfeeding - most SRIs are safe (Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac) do some research and show the psychiatrist that you know what you're talking about.

Remember that the whole situation is pretty tough on your husband, too. I'm guessing he's feeling pretty helpless by now. Many men are more comfortable with practical solutions (put him on the bottle) than suppotive, caring roles - perhaps you could ask him to help you in something practical, like research which anti-depressants are safe with breastfeeding?
All the best, and keep us posted - we're all here for you.

Heather - posted on 02/01/2011

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Kelsi, good for you for being so honest about whats going on with you. So many moms can probably relate, but its a hard topic to bring up. Kudos.

I will share a little of my story. I have been dealing with depression since my teens, I was on and off medications until my husband and I decided to have a baby. My first child was my medication, he made me so happy and for 7 years I was medication free. While I was pregnant with my second child, I started to feel depressed again. I mentioned to my OB that I was afraid of where it would go postpartum. About 4 weeks after my son was born, I called my OB. Things were dark for me, and it was hurting my family. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I began taking Zoloft, and have been able to continue breastfeeding. My son is now 19 months old, I still take Zoloft, and I still nurse. I still have bad days, but they are nowhere near where they were.

I believe nursing saved my relationship with my baby. There is healing power in a nursing duo bond. You can fight the darkness, and your little Logan can help. Making a phone call and asking for help are sometimes the hardest things. I'm going to be keeping you in my thoughts.

Kelsi - posted on 02/01/2011

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thank you all for your encouraging comments! Yesterday I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. really embarrassed to say that but maybe they can help me sort this out.



In response to Nadia- my husband is a really great guy and father, we just really don't see eye to eye on the whole BF. I've been selling it hard since the beginning. our son has reflux(he's a healthy happy chunky lil guy but always spitting up A LOT- I seriously must make half n half or something for him to gain weight when he hardly gets to keep any of it!. but he tried to say that we should switch him to sensitive formula because my milk wasn't good for him---made me sooo mad. He feels almost jealous ( those are his boobies) and also had a hard time in the beginning with bonding to our baby (didn't help that Logan is a serious mama's boy ♥ ) and I tried sooo hard to BF our first (my daughter Riley) but we had a really traumatic birth, after 2 months of trying (with 2 lactation specialists she never would- so I pumped then got a double mastitis so bad I ended up just switching to Formula. That's what my husband feels comfortable with (plus all his family always just does formula from the beginning)



I feel like it's mine and Logan's special thing that only I can do for him. comforting to both of us.

I feel like he will be so confused when I take them away. I tried for the first time to give him a bottle and he was so confused like "why you holding out on the good stuff, mom, it's right there!" and started trying to go for my chest. :(

He's gotten a few teeth, and I've gotten a few good bites which isn't fun, but even that isn't even enough to make me want to wean.

He's still waking in the night again (teething- just comfort nurse, I pretty much do on demand, he does about 4x a day plus if he wants to at night. bottle would totally wreck our nights sleep.

PLUS all the other wonderful benefits!

Nadia - posted on 02/01/2011

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i don't really have much advice, but i just wanted to say don't give up! i struggled with depression with my first (now almost 5 yrs old), but never went on meds... though now i look back i probably should have. i never hurt my baby, but i resented her soooo much! i feel like crying right now just remembering it! i had her younger than planned... i had only been with my hubby for 1 year, then got pregnant and rushed to get married. it was too soon for me, but he wanted kids so badly, that i gave in. i love my children, don't get me wrong, and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world! we now have a second little girl, and i just love her to bits! but with this second one i feel so much happier about her than i did with my first, and that makes me feel guilty. anyway, i'm sorry i'm rambling, but i do know how you feel. and as for your husband... is he just weirded out by bf or does he want to take the baby out places and not have to worry about getting back home in time for feeding? or, and i'm sorry if this is personal, is it that he feels that bf is interfering with intimacy between you two...? i know my hubby can't wait to have me to himself again. i think you should stick with it, especially if it makes you happy, and just explain it to him. you can always go back on meds when you've weaned. in the meantime, i hope you have an outlet, someone you can talk to, in the hard times. what i did that helped me was i first had to realize why i was feeling depressed (it was my hubby... he wanted the baby, i didn't, and even though he never left me like so many men do, he was just useless and sooo not helpful. i felt like i was raising the baby by myself, the baby i never even wanted.) (oh but i love her!!!!!!) and once i realized this, i write notes (like highschool lol) to my hubby. i write him everything i can't say, everything i feel, everything that pisses me off about him. then i give him the note so he knows how i feel. i'ts actually helped my marriage and my depression. i still write him notes sometimes when i feel the need. idunno... i just thought if he stresses you out, that maybe you might try something like that. it worked for me, also because i could get ll my thoughts and issues out without being interrupted. anyways, please don't give up your values and please know that there are others out there that struggle, too! know that you are not alone, and you are a wonderful mommy, even better than wonderful, because you realize that sometimes you need some help!

Emma - posted on 01/31/2011

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your are an amazing mum ne one that bf is you are doing the best thing u can for your child giving them a heathy start to life! i have been going through the same thing with low self esteem, anxiety n depression n have been avoiding meds for 8 months i think if u are enjoying bf dont stop because that is just someting else that will upset u i have a very fussy baby who had breast refusal n was very unsettled n i didnt want to give up bf the thought of it upset me more than ne thing i see a counsellor every few weeks and just the chance to talk to someone unjudgemental helps you should find some resources on the benfits of breast feeding n show them to your husband it is only a few months outta your life n your childs health is so important i know i dont have to tell u that thats why u r breastfeedin but i think explaining it to your husband is important i had to explain it to my hubby as he wanted me to wean for convienance n i was like our dreaming nothing is more convient than bf (no bottles formula mess etc plus the health benfits) but he wanted to be able to have her more n take her places to give me a rest we r still togther but i dont leave her with him cause im bf on demand so have to be there nearly all the time. i would talk to your dr cause there is more than one suitable medication for bf mums n one might work better for your baby but also he may be more tolerant of it now he is that lil bit older so it may not effect him ne more do what u know is right mummies know best n ultimatly u r responisble for your n your babies happiness good luck your r doing awesome to still be bf at 8 months not many women do it for this long n most of them arent also contending with depression n anxiety xox

[deleted account]

Kelsi, you're doing so well! Give yourself several pats on the back!

Can I just tell you my daughter's experience. No probs with first bub, but life got tough with the arrival of the twins. They didn't sleep, toddler was cranky (who are these little upstarts living in my house anyway?) Husband was tired, my daughter spent so much time in tears, despite lots of support. She's very pro-breastfeeding (she's my daughter, after all!) and anti- drugs. She joind a PND support group for young mums, which helped a bit, but eventually agreed to see a psychologist, who sent her to a specialist. She prescribed a mild anti-depressant - they had to find one that was compatible with breastfeeding) and suddenly the sun came out. Still challenges, of course, but my daughter could cope.
The moral she drew from her experiencve was that sometimes we need a buffer. Medications mustn't be overused, but they have a place. If they can help you cope with a difficult situation, use them. Remember, a mum MUST look after herself. I know you don't want to take the meds, but maybe if you look at them as a buffer to get you through the hard times.
All the best.

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