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Moms Less Likely to Breast Feed when Taking SSRI Antidepressants

Filed March 16th, 2012 Laurie

A study conducted by researchers with the Connecticut Pregnancy Exposure Information Service (CPEIS) reveals that women who take serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs) antidepressants during their pregnancy are less likely to nurse their babies than women who do not take the drugs. CPEIS is a state-funded service that informs women about exposures during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

The authors analyzed 466 pregnant women who came to the CPEIS California affiliate seeking information over a period of 10 years about a variety of exposures. “While the benefits of breast-feeding an infant are very clear, this study suggests that women who are taking antidepressants in pregnancy are not engaging in this behavior as often as we would like to see,” study co-author Christina Chambers, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.

The study, published online in the February issue of the Journal of Human Lactation, shows that women who take SSRIs during pregnancy typically need more breast-feeding education and support.
CPEIS coordinator Sharon Voyer Lavigne said “Our goal is to provide accurate, up-to-date information on breast-feeding while on medications. This allows the woman to weigh the benefits of the treatment for her with the potential risks for her infant.”

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