Study questions consensus on effect of antidepressants on breastfeeding

Scientific

New research has cast doubt on the previous consensus view that antidepressants can make breastfeeding more difficult. 

Previously, studies had suggested that those women who took serotonin reuptake inhibitors in late pregnancy were more likely to struggle with a low supply of breast milk after the birth of their babies. 

“A new study has contradicted the previous consensus that taking antidepressants during pregnancy could reduce the supply of breast milk. “

However, the retrospective study, produced by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, examined the cases of 3,024 women who gave birth to pre-term infants between 2004 and  2008. This showed no correlation between antidepressants and low milk levels.

What the research did indicate was that poor milk supply was a common problem for women with underlying psychological problems. 

Commenting on the research, Dr. Luke Grzeskowiak of the University of Adelaide in Australia, said: "Decisions around the use of antidepressants and breastfeeding can be challenging, but these findings support continued use of antidepressants in this critical time period of mother-infant bonding."

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