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Zoloft, Breastfeeding, Infant Insomnia

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Old 06-23-2006, 11:35 AM   #1
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Question Zoloft, Breastfeeding, Infant Insomnia

My baby is 9 weeks old and was diagnosed with acid reflux. She also started sleeping less and less to the point where she never took a nap and one night didn't sleep a wink . She had 1 hour of sleep in a 24 hour period. Well, the pediatrician and I thought that perhaps the Zoloft was entering the breastmilk and keeping her awake. Of course, the reflux could be doing this as well, even though she is on Prevacid. Anyway, we are experiementing and have been feeding her nothing but Soy formula for the past 3 days and she's an entirely new baby. She's happy, taking naps, and is sleeping 4-5 hours at a time at night. The problem is I feel so incredibly guilty about not giving her breast milk. Is she really going to end up being sick all the time if I stop breastfeeding?
I know 2 months isn't quite enough, but she is no longer suffering. Mommy (me) is no longer suffering as well. The sleep deprivation was making me cry and fight with my husband. So, I guess I'd like some opinions because I feel terrible about discontinuing breast milk. (I'm still pumping until I make a decision). Thanks.

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Old 06-23-2006, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: Zoloft, Breastfeeding, Infant Insomnia

I am also breastfeeding and taking Zoloft. I have taken 50 mg a day since 2 days PP. My son is almost 8 months old and has had no problems. I really don't know if I can help other than to say it hasn't affecteed my son and to say I am thinking of you. It sounds so hard. Hang in there mom.

Old 06-23-2006, 12:44 PM   #3
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Re: Zoloft, Breastfeeding, Infant Insomnia

The few weeks I was able to BF I was taking Zoloft as well. He didn't have any issues with it that I saw.

Maybe since you said she is doing so well on Soy, it wasn't becuase of the Zoloft, but because of something you ate everyday that didn't agree with her tummy. Like milk?? Are you a regular milk drinker? I know that can affect some babies, also spicy foods... maybe you could try cutting something out that you know you consistently eat/drink that could be the problem. If not, then just stick with the soy.

* Edit.. something just crossed my mind also.. Do you drink coffee? I had to cut out all coffee while I was BFing.. He never slept and it seemed like it made his tummy a little off.. I know coffee is a natural laxative, and some laxative only make people feel crampy.. just another thought *

Last edited by soon2bmommy; 06-23-2006 at 12:47 PM.

Old 06-23-2006, 05:13 PM   #4
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Re: Zoloft, Breastfeeding, Infant Insomnia

Nope, I've been off caffeine since I became pregnant with her. I know the breastmilk didn't fill her up. She was feeding every hour in the day time.
It's good to hear that the Zoloft didn't affect your babies. Perhaps that
isn't what caused her insomnia. It's just so bizarre.

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Old 06-23-2006, 05:49 PM   #5
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Re: Zoloft, Breastfeeding, Infant Insomnia

Just wanted to say that my son was formula fed and he is now 5 - he'll be 6 in a few weeks - my baby's growing up so fast... okay, sorry, um anyway he's had his share of colds, but for the most part he hasn't been sick any more or less than any of my friends' bf babies and he was never sick as a baby. I know that "breast is best", but formula is not bad and bf babies get sick as kids just like formula fed ones. Don't feel guilty sounds like your little one is doing good now.

Old 06-23-2006, 07:41 PM   #6
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Re: Zoloft, Breastfeeding, Infant Insomnia

Originally Posted by PaulaRoet
I know the breastmilk didn't fill her up. She was feeding every hour in the day time.
Breast milk digests very quickly. It's normal in the early weeks for a baby to eat as often as every 1 hour. My DD, now 15 weeks old, still eats every hour and a half, sometimes every 2 and half hours if I'm lucky. If your baby is having enough wet diapers and seems content after a feeding, even if only for an hour, then she is probably doing just fine. Also remember to count from the start of the last feeding, not the end. I know it seems like they just ate when they're at the breast for 45 minutes, but most of the "nutritive" sucking is done at the beginning. It does get better!

My DD also has reflux, and it took about 2 weeks for her medication to really help let her get a good nights sleep. We found that elevating her bassinet at the head helped too.

As for breastfeeding, it has many proven benefits over formula feeding. As a BF advocate I find it hard to really speak out abut the benefits because I understand that FF can be a sensitive choice, and one that many mothers can end up making due to health problems, so I don't want anyone to feel bad for providing nourishment for their babies. I would be happy to share some of the info that I know, but I would want it to be consensual by everyone, because I certainly wouldn't do it with the intention of putting down any moms who formula feed.

I formula fed and breastfed from weeks 5-14, where finally, after weeks of working my butt of to regain my supply, I was able to go back to exclusively breastfeeding. While formula provides a suitable replacement in the event it is needed (and we did need it), I also feel strongly that breastfeeding should always come first.

But I totally understand the need to use formula (I've been there myself), because health problems do arise and sometimes circumstances can't be avoided. In your case I think that sleep is just as important to your baby's development as breast milk is. If it were me I would exhaust every option possible to maintain my BF relationship, and if that's not possible, I would pump and dump while I figured out what to do. Have you spoke to a lactation consultant about a different drug that might not have the same side effects?

Also keep in mind that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. ANY breast milk is better then none, so even if you baby only gets one nursing session or bottle of expressed breast milk a day, then it's still better then nothing.

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