Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression

Adam Slevin
Physician Assistants Vol. 15; Issue 3; Page 33

New mothers who develop postpartum depression and who want to breastfeed their infants present a treatment challenge. SSRIs may be a safe and effective option for mother and child alike.

About 10% of women who have recently given birth experience postpartum depression (PPD), making this disorder the most common complication of childbearing. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) does not recognize PPD as distinct from major depression, but it does provide the addition of a postpartum-onset specifier for women with an onset of depression within four weeks of delivery. Correctly diagnosing and treating PPD is critical—especially considering treatments that are conducive for breastfeeding mothers.

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