There is no one answer for the question of whether or not to take medications for postpartum depression while pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Just like there is not a specific treatment that works for everyone experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression. Some women may see a decrease in symptoms with therapy, some with medication, some with a combination of both therapy and medication. What is important is to find a solution that is appropriate for YOU!
Some of the stigma around psychiatric medication is that people will be labeled as “crazy” or having a nervous breakdown if they take medication. Some women are worried that the side effects of the medication will make it so that they are unable to care for their children. Others are worried that their children will be taken away by social services because taking an antidepressant means that the mom wants to hurt herself or her child. You do not need anyone’s permission to feel good and it is nobody’s business about how you get there. It may be necessary for you to take medication in order to recover and feel like yourself again.
Women are concerned that their baby will be exposed to medication if they take medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Your baby will be exposed either to the illness or the treatment. There are some medications that are completely safe for women to take while pregnant and/or breastfeeding that can decrease symptoms of postpartum depression.
I absolutely believe that there are some severe cases of postpartum depression where a woman will experience a quicker and easier recovery from symptoms when medication is added to the treatment plan. I do not believe that medication is necessary for every woman experiencing postpartum depression symptoms. It is absolutely necessary for women to speak with their doctor about the different treatment options and to make an informed choice that is best for her after exploring as much information as possible.