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Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers with Mental Health Issues

MO-08-0017 BFP

Studies have shown that women are more likely to suffer mental health disorders in the early postpartum period.   

Following are resources health care providers and families can use to try to protect the breastfeeding relationship and avoid premature weaning if at all possible.  These resources can help to support the mother, family and health care provider as they balance the needs of mental health services and treatment for the mother and the needs of the mother/baby breastfeeding dyad.

For Health Care Providers

  • Screening for Postpartum Depression:
  • Information on medications and breastfeeding:
    • The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s protocol on the Use of Antidepressants in Nursing Mothers (PDF)Opens a new browser window.(2008)
    • Medications and Mothers’ Milk (2012 Edition) by Dr. Thomas Hale
    • Lactmed: A peer-reviewed and fully referenced database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. Among the data included are maternal and infant levels of drugs, possible effects on breastfed infants and on lactation, and alternate drugs to consider.
    • Health Care Providers can access updates on antidepressants and other medications and the Infant Risk Centers
    • Kendall-Tackett K: Clinics in Human Lactation Non-Pharmacologic Treatments for Depression in New Mothers (2008) Hale Publishing, Amarillo, TX
    • Rampono J,  Kristensen JH, Ilett F: “Antidepressants and Antipsychotics” Hale and Hartmann’s Textbook of Human Lactation (2007),  Thomas W. Hale and Peter E. Hartmann (Eds.)
      • “As with all maternal drug use during lactation, the questions that need to be asked are:
      • Is there significant drug transfer into milk,
      • Is drug exposure likely to cause any short-term toxicity in the infant, and
      • Is drug exposure likely to cause long-term adverse effects in the infant?”
    • Textbook of Human Lactation edited by Thomas W. Hale and Peter E. Hartmann,  Chapter 30: “Antidepressants and Antipsychotics” states:
      • “As with all maternal drug use during lactation, the questions that need to be asked are:
      • (a) Is there significant drug transfer into milk,
      • (b) Is drug exposure likely to cause any short-term toxicity in the infant, and
      • (c) Is drug exposure likely to cause long-term adverse effects in the infant?”
  • Additional resources and information:

 Information for Patients and their families:

References:

  • The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee; ABM Clinical Protocol #18: Use of Antidepressants in Nursing Mothers; Breastfeeding Medicine, Volume 3, Number 1, 2008.
  • Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries, Structured Abstract. April 2007. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/tp/brfouttp.htm
  • Committee Opinion #361, "Breastfeeding: Maternal and Infant Aspects," Obstetrics & Gynecology, February 2007 and ACOG Clinical Review (Vol. 12, Issue 1 (supplement), Jan-Feb 2007) "Special Report from ACOG, Breastfeeding: Maternal and Infant Aspects" available to Fellows online at www.acog.org and to nonmembers by emailing jbrenner@acog.org.
  • Jones, N.A., McFall, B.A. and Diego, M.A. Patterns of brain electrical activity in infants of depressed mothers who breastfeed and bottle feed: The mediating role of infant temperament. Biol Psychol 2004; 67(1-2):103-24.
  • Lane, A.M., Crone-Grant, D., and Lane, H. Mood changes following exercise. Percept Motor Skills 2002; 94:732-34.
  • Rampono J, Kristensen JH, & Ilett, KF (2007).  Chapter 30: Antidepressants and Antipsychotics. In T.W. Hale & P.E. Hartmann (Eds.), Textbook of Human Lactation; (First Edition pp 535-555). Amarillo, TX: Hale Publishing IP.
  • Section on Breastfeeding; Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the use of human milk: PEDIATRICS Vol. 115  No. 2 February 2005, pp. 496-506
  • Silvers, K.M. and Scott, K.M. Fish consumption and self-reported physical and mental health status. Pub Health Nutr 2002; 5:427-31.
 
 
Last modified on: 7/8/2013 4:24 PM