‘I don’t want to take antidepressants while breastfeeding’

Nothing in life is black or white, and parenting always brings dilemmas. Even if the choice seems so clear at times.

Céline (32) is together with Roel (34) and mother of Keet (6 months).

“I have been taking antidepressants for a large part of my life. I benefit a lot from that, but when I wanted to get pregnant, I decided to stop taking it temporarily. I was afraid that I would soon have a baby with withdrawal symptoms. Now that my daughter is six months old and my mind is slowly turning dark again, I should actually start taking my medication again. But I don’t want to stop breastfeeding just yet.

Tapering down

I had a hard time coming off my antidepressants. Already at the first dose reduction I felt more depressed. It turned out to be a matter of persevering, because once that tapering had happened and I became pregnant in no time, my gloomy feelings disappeared like snow in the sun. The pregnancy hormones did me good, I would never have felt this good without antidepressants.

The GP warned that this could change once I had given birth. No problem, she said, because then I could just start again if I wanted, antidepressants like mine can’t hurt during breastfeeding.

Read also – Patricia thought breastfeeding was ‘hell’: ‘And yet I felt the pressure to try’ >


Keet drinks at least five more full feedings and does not indicate that she will be done with that any time soon. I don’t like to ‘contaminate’ my milk with medicines, even though the doctors don’t think this is the case. My boyfriend thinks that is very stupid, who watches with sorrow how I get through the days more and more difficult and wonders why we don’t ‘just’ switch to formula. But I prefer to feed Keet myself for a year and then start my medication again.

“I prefer to feed Keet myself for a year and then restart my medication”

At the same time, my child is of no use to a mother who feels gloomy for another six months, I know that. So I have decided on a middle ground: I will continue for another three months, until my daughter is nine months old. Then I can always start with a low dose of medication, or stop breastfeeding. A good mother is a happy mother, but my child’s health is worth even more to me.”

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