There’s no simple rule about whether or not breastfeeding is the right choice for someone with postnatal depression. It’s a complicated relationship and every mother who is suffering with postnatal depression needs to evaluate her situation individually.
The benefits of breastfeeding your baby are very well documented, but if you’re finding it particularly hard and you believe it’s having a negative effect on your mental health, you need to decide if it would be in yours – and your baby’s – best interest for you to give up.
Talk to your health visitor or GP about your decision. They will be able to offer you advice and support, but ultimately only you can know what’s best for you and your baby.
This is all very well, but when you’re facing some of the most challenging times of your life, as well as struggling with depression the ‘best thing to do’ is not always clear. If you’re coping with postnatal depression and think giving up breastfeeding might help the situation, read our positive and negative aspects and see if it helps you decide.
Positive reasons to breastfeed with postnatal depression
Negative aspects of breastfeeding with postnatal depression
Anti-depressants and postnatal depression
Anybody on anti-depressants for postnatal depression should speak to their GP about suitable medication if they are breastfeeding.
GoodtoKnow mum Juliette O’DonnellO’Donnell believes breastfeeding while suffering with postnatal depression literally saved her life.
‘I didn’t feel like a proper mum and couldn’t connect with Sean. He wouldn’t be comforted by me, he didn’t look like me, I felt no bond with him. But the one thing only I could do for him was breastfeed. This stopped me doing something to harm myself as I knew he needed me.’