I’m not a Scientologist, I swear

Some of you are not going to like this post.

I’ve been waiting since Monday for my doctor to prescribe whatever anti-depressant du jour I get to play with. I’ve had much anxiety over the idea of drugs. Do I really need them? Can’t I just control this on my own? Isn’t there another way? But the psychologist told me drugs were part of the plan, at least until my hormones evened out from all this baby having. I figured who am I, the crazy lady, to tell anyone no.

So I’ve spent the past four days waiting for my prescription to be called in, preparing myself to take said drugs. Four days wondering what they will do to me. Four days wondering how they would make me feel. Four days really very unsure I wanted to take them. But again, I’m the crazy one, I didn’t feel I was of sound mind to argue with the doc.

Thursday my doctor called to tell me he won’t be giving me any drugs.

Uh. Ok.

I saw a clinical psychologist. She came highly recommended by my OB and my primary care physician. She’s supposedly the best person to see in town for anything post partum related.

I liked her. We hit it off right away, I felt comfortable at her office, and I was willing to accept that she could not prescribe anything to me and I needed to take her recommendations back to my OB. Pain in the ass…yes. But again here, I’m just doing what I was told.

Dr. S spent most of Monday’s couch time telling me how safe antidepressants are for breastfeeding. How there are several to choose from. Etc. Etc.

My OB called to tell me she’s wrong. He will not prescribe me an antidepressants while I breastfeed. And asked me several questions to determine if I really needed them.

This man delivered both of my children. Saw me through TWO high risk pregnancies and two early labors. He has known me and dealt with my 4am phone calls for years. I trust him.

Apparently there is a very new study out that shows cardiac and developmental problems in the babies getting some antidepressants through their mother’s milk. He, and most other doctors in our area, will no longer prescribe them to a lactating woman. IF I really wanted them, I could see a post partum specialist at UCLA and have myself and the baby monitored. Or I can wean.

Weaning is NOT an option. Unless I am slitting my wrists, driving my kids in a lake crazy, weaning is only going to make me 700 times worse. And they’d have to completely sedate me.

I’m not saying this won’t change. If the psychologist tells me I’m certifiable, and I MUST take drugs NOW or everyone will die, then we’ll get a second opinion. If another qualified person thinks the same, I guess I won’t have a choice.

But as it stands now, the doctor who has known me for years and dealt with thousands of pregnant and post partum women does not think I need drugs. Nor, will he prescribe them. The clincher for him: since my admission and my appointment on Monday I’ve only had one anxiety episode. ONE. I was having several per day. He also mentioned how I just got my period back a few months ago, and it’s still not regular. He feels that needs time to even out. And he described MY symptoms to ME before I even told him what I had been going through. He’s seen this before. Many times. And he doesn’t think the risk of medication is enough to give me a bottle of pills. He also does not recommend weaning.

Right now, I am in love with my OB. I have no idea what Dr. S, psychologist will say about all this. My hope is she says we just need a new plan, and I have to be on top of my yoga and breathing exercises, therapy, etc.

I know many women need drugs to handle this condition. But I firmly felt all along I was not one of those women. But I also felt I was not of sound mind to argue. I’m very, very happy I have a trusted OB who wasn’t quick to just write a prescription and send me on my way.

The Kaiser is quick to remind me this is just the start of a journey. So things may change. But we’re BOTH happy with this turn of events. As is my mother. Everyone is in agreement here. So it’s not like I just strongarmed everyone into letting me handle this drug free.

For the record, just because I’m going drug free doesn’t mean everyone should. Tom Cruise is still a moron.

Oh, and since you were so nice to go read all of that—here…go play MASH. Yes! That 4h grade game.

For the record, I’ll be living in Spain with Matthew McConaughey and our 9 children. I’m an heiress with a pink porche. -thanks daughter of opinion!


  1. that must be really frustrating. And I totally agree with you

  2. If a little therapy, a little yoga, etc. are doing the trick for now, then that’s great! Go with what works, and listen to your body.

  3. What is that dancing gravatar up there? Wow! Just wanted to confirm, from my own personal experience, that yep. It is a journey. And nope. I wouldn’t be weaning. That would make me rip the head of someone. Totally have taken me over the edge. Now I just have to decide if I’m glad or not glad this info about the cardiac stuff was not available 8 years ago, and then 5 years ago. I’ll go with glad. It’ll save me some anxiety. Here’s to you, getting saner and saner.

  4. Dancing What with the who now??? huh???

  5. So me and the guy who plays Eko on LOST will be living in Italy with 5 kids, a pink Hummer and I will be working as a TV Personality.

    I’m 12.

  6. Go see a psychiatrist. Get an MD who is an expert on psychotropic medications.

  7. I wanted to add to this, I think that many women would probably make the same choice as you. Certainly, if I had to choose, I would pick not being on a med in order to nurse. I loved every minute of nursing with my son.

    However, I don’t think your OB is wrong and I don’t think that your Psychologist is wrong. Depression most commonly abates on its own after 6 months or so, regardless of taking medication. Medication just speeds up the recovery. There is more variability with anxiety.

    However, (I’m speaking for all doctors now, not yours) I think that MDs that are outside of the mental health field don’t understand what mental health/illness is and tend to minimize it, even when they are moderately knowledgable about it. If your insurance company allows it, it is great to have an opportunity to see a psychiatrist, who deals with both. (Preferably a woman.)

    Then you have all the views of the debate and you can make a decision.

    (I know you have already made a decision, but this is an area that I feel strongly about.)

    You aren’t Tom Cruise!

  8. Okay, I hope you don’t think I’m too nutty, but here are a few of the most recent articles. You can always get them at a local university library:

    Gentile, Salvatore (2005). The Safety of Newer Antidepressants in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. Drug Safety, 28, 137-152.

    Gentile, Salvatore (2005). SSRIs in Pregnancy and Lactation: Emphasis on Neurodevelopmental Outcome. CNS Drugs, 19, 623-633.

    Dennis, C.L. Stewart, D.E. (2004). Treatment of postpartum depression, part 1: a critical review of biological interventions. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 65, , 1242-51.

    Berle, J.O., Steen, V.M., Aamo, T.O., Breilid, H., Zahlsen, K., Spigset, O., (2004). Breastfeeding during maternal antidepressant treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors: infant exposure, clinical symptoms, and cytochrome p450 genotypes. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 65, 1228-34.

    Whitby, D.H., Smith, K.M. (2005). The use of tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in women who are breastfeeding. Pharmacotherapy, 25, 411-25.

    Hallberg, P., Sjoblom, V., (2005). The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy and breast-feeding: a review and clinical aspects. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 25, 59-73.

    I did a Medline search for breastfeeding and post-partum depression to identify all articles that have come out (it is up to date as of 2 weeks ago.) These were the only ones that I could find that have come out in the past 2 years.

  9. Thanks for all the info Emily. I can tell you that my doc said this new study came out a matter of weeks ago, so I’m not sure where to find that yet. He also said he consulted with the psychiatrist he would refer me too, and he too is no longer prescribing to breastfeeding women. So my options as they stand now, are to wean or to go to UCLA, where they are apparently the only ones left around here giving meds to breastfeeding women. I will, however, explore all my options. And if therapy and exercise are not working, we will have to seek advice on meds.

  10. Also—sarah. Yes, we’re all 12. I figured if people who aren’t my close friends had to sit through me blathering about my life…they deserved some silly fun at the end.

    Although…you’re all becoming my close friends, aren’t you???

  11. What about some bf safe herbal supps and perhaps some acupuncture? Followed by a good shopping trip at least one time per week?

  12. I’m going to marry Clint Howard, I’ll be living in a trailer just outside of Fresno with our 18 kids and I’ll be driving an old school bus with the school district spray painted out. And it’ll be a short bus. Man…I suck at this game.

  13. You totaly suck at this game, honey.

  14. You are fantastic. Putting the nursing first is what I would have done as well–unless extreme circumstances forced otherwise.

    Hang in there–you will beat this, even if you wait on the meds. You have great support.

  15. It sounds like you have a terrific doc advising you and that you have explored all of your options thoroughly. I do hope you get to feeling better soon.

    Wasn’t MASH fun?! Please give Mr. McConaughey my best – sigh!

  16. I would look into holistic options if I were you. Talk to Miz B, she knows a lot about that stuff. Excercise is proven to alleviate depression, too.

    Eat whole foods; soy and soymilk (cows milk is loaded w/hormones), whole wheat bread and pasta, fresh veggies, especially anything dark green or red or yellow (think color!), almonds, and the best thing to remove from your diet is anything containing “high fructose corn syrup”. Read up on that stuff; it’s sooo bad and so unnatural. Refined sugar is bad. Green tea is great, too, and there’s nothing more soothing than a cup of tea. I believe that cleaning up one’s diet will work wonders for the body (plus you’ll lose weight, too!)

    Just my ideas… 🙂

    Anyway, I’m glad that you don’t have to take that stuff – because some of that shit – once you’re on it, it’s a nightmare to get off of it.


  17. ps – if you really want to get your blood pressure up today, check out maidink’s post today:


  18. Glad you’re finding your way through this will practitioners you trust! That goes a long way!

  19. If it’s Post Partum Depression you’re suffering from, try Aromatherapy. I suffer from Clinical Depression and have found that burning Oils really help me. A list of oils that are good for depression include Geranium, Orange Mandarin, Jasmine, Neroli, Ylang Ylang and Grapefruit. Lavedar is also good if you have trouble sleeping.

    Hope this helps.

  20. On a light note:

    Your husband’s name is James Marsters and you have 3 children. You’re a forensic pathologist who drives to work every day in a white Mustang.

    It’s truly a wonderful life when you consider the countless romantic nights you have spent with James Marsters in your mansion in Ireland.

    Could that BE more perfect for me??? No, seriously…apart from white, those were my favorites in all the categories. WHoo HOoo!

  21. I started on the no-meds road, and lasted for years. Now, I’m taking my first dive into antidepressents. Thankfully, I’m not having problems (nor am I lactating any longer – that helps!!).


    My husband’s name is Shawn Cassidy and we have 3 children. I’m a soda jerk who drives to work every day in a black mini cooper.

    It’s truly a wonderful life when I consider the countless romantic nights I have spent with Shawn Cassidy in our house in New York.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad you had a psychiatrist and an OB with a clue. My baby is now ten months old, and at less than a week postpartum I was not doing well. My OB suggested I see a psychiatrist, so I had to navigate my insurance company’s approved doctors, etc. I found the one female psychiatrist on my side of town. Her first suggestion was to put me on a mood stabilizer, which would necessitate weaning. “You might want to wean early.” I had to explain my baby was two weeks old, not two months old, and either way I wasn’t weaning. I’ve been taking Prozac (sporadically) since before I was pregnant. Thus far, my child has shown no ill effects. Thanks for the links on the research.

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