Antidepressants Cause Delayed Lactation

A recent research showed that certain antidepressants can adversely affect breastfeeding, delaying the production of milk for quite long periods, in some cases reaching to 72 hours.


While helping you manage your sleep and deal with emotional upheavals, antidepressants can interfere with the milk secretion process, causing difficulty with breastfeeding and probably inability to breastfeed for an adequate period. Quite a number of women seem to be susceptible to this influence, especially those who are going to give birth for the first time.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study that describes the processes triggered off by the intake of antidepressants, mainly those that belong to the SSRI group (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). They are fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine and some others. They are reported to affect serotonin regulation not only in the brain, but also in the breast.

Lead researcher Nelson Horseman remarked that the breasts, being serotonin-regulated glands, are closely connected with serotonin-related processes in the whole body.

Yet the discovery doesn’t undermine the importance of the SSRI antidepressants, Horseman says, calling them “very helpful medications for many moms” that “help them achieve their goals for breastfeeding their babies”.
The article also reports that mothers who had to cope with delayed lactation problems at early stages were perfectly able to breastfeed their babies later.

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