I am currently pregnant with my first child, due may 2. i have a history of anxiety and panic disorder. I was prescribed xanax before i got pregnant and would take it as needed for panic attacks but after i give birth i would like to get on something to control my anxiety and just prevent the anxiety and panic attacks in general. Will it be safe to take this kind of medications while EBF? if so do you have a recommendation of what kind?
According to Thomas Hale’s Mothers Milk and Medications (a very credible source) Xanax is only an L3. That means that it is moderately safe (that means only minimal non-threatening adverse affects could happen, if any)
Breastfeeding is still optimal.
It's really not recommended to take these medications while breastfeeding. Basically, if you experience crippling anxiety levels, you should not breastfeed and take the medications so you can care for your baby. They are transferred to the milk and change levels (insert list of chemical levels that I couldn't type fast enough as he spoke) in the baby that can hinder development.
I asked him about things like xanax- he said it is toxic to baby.
I would speak to your doctors and pharmacist before taking anything. DH could not suggest any meds for anxiety. By the way, he is very supportive of breastfeeding, and did everything he could to help me breastfeed. So it's not like he's just biased towards the medicine side of things.
In the past, I would have suggested you BF for a few weeks or long as long as you could manage to stay off the meds. However, now that I have experienced genuine anxiety (recent development due to medical condition), I can now relate to people who have anxiety that needs to be controlled with medications. Breastfeeding is ideal, but may not be for everyone. If you can't function without the meds, then I would definitely put momma's mental health and ability to care for the baby before breastfeeding. Remember though- even just a few days of breastfeeding gives the baby a huge immunological boost. You could always just give it a try and switch to formula if you start to have problems.
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