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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Zoloft and Breastfeeding: Are They Compatible?

Zoloft and Breastfeeding: Are They Compatible? #depression #ppd #breastfeedingBefore considering taking Zoloft and breastfeeding, a nursing mother may wonder if they are compatible. Will it be safe for the baby if the breastfeeding mother takes anti-depressants? Many mothers ask:

  • Do I need an anti-depressant?
  • Can I still take them and breastfeed my baby?

Many breastfeeding mothers may find themselves in a situation where they are considering anti-depressants. Postpartum depression, anxiety, and mood disorders are all reasons that a mother may seek medical treatment. Most doctors will recommend that when the benefits to the mother’s quality of life (and that of the family she is caring for) outweigh the risks of taking medication an anti-depressant should be taken. Remember that care from and bonding with a mother who is not depressed or anxious is best for the baby! The benefits of the medication will take effect quickly (within a week or two) so the mother will soon be able to compare her quality of life both on and off the medication.

Why Zoloft?

Zoloft, otherwise known as sertraline, seems to be the most highly recommended anti-depressant for nursing mothers. Very low levels of this selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) can be detected in a nursing baby’s plasma. While no long term studies have been done on the effects of Zoloft on a nursing infant no immediate changes or concerning symptoms can be seen.

Dr. Hale’s Medications and Mother’s Milk: A Manual of Lactation Pharmacology is a recommended resource for further research. When rating anti-depressants for nursing mothers from the lowest risk for baby to the highest, Dr. Thomas Hale lists Zoloft as the safest SSRI for a nursing mother to take.

The benefits of continuing to breastfeed are profound for both the mother and the baby.

Zoloft and Breastfeeding – Talk to Your Doctor

Each mother needs to make an informed and individual decision with a trusted health care professional.

What about you? Have you been considering an anti-depressant? We’re here for you mama – how can we help?

Devany LeDrew is a former kindergarten teacher turned write-at-home-mom. She's the mother of three, grieving the loss of one. She is passionate about gentle parenting, literacy education, grief outreach, and breastfeeding, of course! She writes at Still Playing School, as well as at a blog specifically about grief The Beauty of the Bereaved. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


  1. I have a 17 yr old son a 4yr old son and 12week old daughter. I’m 35 and my oldest child was recently hospitalized for suicidal issues. I’m completely streesed I suffer from anxiety PTSD and OCD. I’m scared to take mood stabilizers because I don’t wants daughter having that in her precious new body. I’m having a hard time with my anxiety and getting emencly overwhelmed and angry at any moment. I have very little patience and I hate feeling this way. I
    Don’t know what to do but I absolutely don’t want to subject my perfect baby to medication like that. I’m concerned about long term effects not short one for the baby getting the breast milk. Help! I’m lost

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