No Link Between Antidepressants During Pregnancy & Stillbirth

The New York Times reports on a large study finding no link between stillbirth and the use of antidepressants during pregnancy. According to the Times, the Danish study of 1.6 million births, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that, “The neonatal death rate (before one month of life) in babies of the 29,228 mothers who had used S.S.R.I.’s did not differ from that of the population at large.”

For a review of this study about taking medication during pregnancy by the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health, click here.


Which Psychiatric Medications Are Safe During Breastfeeding?

Which Psychiatric Medications Are Safe During Breastfeeding

I’m often asked by mothers who want to breastfeed about which psychiatric medication is safe.

First, I want you to know that it is a myth that you must quit breastfeeding if you are going to be treated for postpartum depression. I’m always saddened to hear of moms who refuse to seek treatment because they are afraid they will be made to quit, or whose doctors tell them they must because they’ll be on medication. That’s just not true.

Certainly, if you feel that it is better for you to formula feed that is a perfectly acceptable choice. Also, therapy alone is a good option for some mothers. If you need to take medication, though, you still don’t have to quit. There are certain medications that have been well studied and, according to the MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health, are “… considered to be relatively safe for use during breastfeeding when clinically warranted …”

I wanted to offer you some resources for those of you who plan to breastfeed but must also take an antidepressant or other psychiatric medication for the treatment of your postpartum depression or related illness.

Breastfeeding and Medication from Massachusetts Center for Women’s Mental Health

Other Resources for Breastfeeding Moms

InfantRisk: Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding | Note: Infant Risk now has an app!


OTIS Fact Sheets:

Note: The OTIS fact sheets have primarily information on taking these medications during pregnancy, but they address their use during breastfeeding toward the end of each fact sheet.

Also, when you read resources written by clinicians, you may notice they do not use the marketing or brand name of the drug but the clinical name, so I’m giving you a little glossary here so you’ll know to which medication they are referring:

fluoxetine = Prozac
sertraline = Zoloft
citalopram = Celexa
paroxetine = Paxil
venlafexine = Effexor
buproprion = Wellbutrin
escitalopram = Lexapro
lamotrigine = Lamictal

Why Americans Don’t Want To Discuss Depression With Their Doctors

postpartum depression diagnosis and treatmentA fascinating new study finds that a large chunk of Americans would rather not discuss symptoms of depression with their doctors.

According to, “43% of people would keep their depression symptoms to themselves during a doctor’s appointment, because they feel their emotional difficulties are off-topic, they don’t want to be prescribed antidepressants, or they’re afraid a record of the conversation will be seen by employers … Respondents also expressed fear about being referred to a specialist or being labeled a ‘psychiatric patient’.”

[Read more…]

Is Your Antidepressant Working?

I often think the stories on depression, and particularly postpartum depression, are lacking on popular medical and health websites. Usually a lot of fluff and not much that really helps. I actually think this brief slideshow from WebMD, however, is pretty good: Is Your Antidepressant Working?

Check it out for good tips on what to expect, and on how and when to talk to your doctor about side effects or the effectiveness of your treatment plan.