Dear Lactation Consultant,
I'm from Romania.I want to ask you if while on a antidepressant treatment I can breastfeed babies. I'm in treatment with Efectin, a kind of Venlafaxine, with 50 mg / day. I'm really sorry for my poor English and I'm waiting for your answer.
It is good that you wrote, because it is important before taking a drug to check into its safety while breastfeeding. Although most drugs are considered compatible with breastfeeding, there are exceptions.
The drug you ask about is a new drug, which means that not a lot of research is available on its passage into human milk. However, one study of three breastfeeding mothers who were taking Venlafaxine showed no adverse effects on their babies. In the case of a new drug, some doctors are willing to monitor the mother's and baby's blood levels of the drug while they breastfeed to evaluate it's effects.
In general, it is best to choose a time-tested drug over a new drug, if possible. For example, among antidepressants, the ones that have been well-studied and considered most compatible with breastfeeding are Paxil (paroxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).
-- Nancy, IBCLC
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Research Associate Professor of Psychology specializing in women's health at the Family Research Lab, University of New Hampshire. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in both the Divisions of Health Psychology and Trauma Psychology. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a La Leche League leader, chair of the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Taskforce, and the Area Coordinator of Leaders for La Leche League of Maine and New Hampshire.
Dr. Kendall-Tackett is author of more than 140 journal articles, book chapters and other publications, and author or editor of 15 books including The Hidden Feelings of Motherhood (2005, Hale Publications), Depression in New Mothers (2005, Haworth), and Breastfeeding Made Simple, co-authored with Nancy Mohrbacher (2005, New Harbinger). She is on the editorial boards of the journals Child Abuse and Neglect, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and the Journal of Human Lactation, and regularly reviews for 27 other journals in the fields of trauma, women's health, interpersonal violence, depression, and child development. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is the "Ask a Lactation Consultant" columnist on Pregnancy.org and serves on the Board of Directors of Attachment Parenting International.
Dr. Kendall-Tackett received a Bachelor's and Master's degree in psychology from California State University, Chico, and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in social and developmental psychology. She has won several awards including the Outstanding Research Study Award from the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and was named 2003 Distinguished Alumna, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, California State University, Chico.