Postpartum depression, antidepressants and breastfeeding

Although this article is inteded to be read by psychiatrists and other healthcare providers who may be treating women for postpartum depression, if you have an interest in the topic then you may find it to be of interest too. Pregnancy is a period of intense hormonal changes and these changes take on different patterns from trimester to trimester, and again after giving birth. Women commonly feel some changes related to mood, and many women experience what are commonly described as the "baby blues", in the weeks after given birth, probably as a result not only due to their body re-adjusting after having given birth, but also as a result of the changes to sleep, eating and anxiety that they may feel as they try to take care of a new baby. 

Some women, however, experience diagnosable postpartum depression (PPD). Women with PPD sometimes are interested in taking medications so that they can feel better and try to attend more to their new baby (and the rest of their family, including their relationship partner). For women who are breastfeeding, however, the issue of medication is particularly important, as women (and their healthcare providers) need to look into which medications are safe to take while breastfeeding as well as when might be the ideal time to take medications, so as to minimize the risk of exposing one’s baby to high levels of the medications. To learn more about these special concerns, read the full text of the original article here.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at