Research on the effects on the child ... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis
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Research on the effects on the child from breastfeeding while mother was taking anti-psychotic and/or antidepressant medications


Wondering if anybody knows of any research/collecting information about children who have breastfed while mothers were taking anti-psychotic and/or antidepressant medication. I took olanzapine and lexapro while breastfeeding and am curious on the effects on my (so far) well developing, smart, neuro-typical three year old daughter. Breastfeeding was such a priority for my husband and myself despite being sick with PP. My psychiatrist, my husband and I felt that we were comfortable with the unknown risk that the medications would pose on our daughter.

I'd love to be part of creating better access to care with more information and less guilt for future families having to make decisions about anti-psychotic and antidepressant medications in regards to breastfeeding. Anyone know of anyone studying this?

2 Replies

Hi Recoveringmamma

This is such an important question. I am obviously no clinician, but I know that a lot of perinatal psychiatrists that I have heard speak, will say that really only sodium valproate has very clear risks to the baby, and that there is no evidence to show that other medications have negative effects. Usually perinatal psychiatrists reassure mothers, and say that they can continue to breastfeed on the medication.

There is very good information about mental health medications on this website, if you haven't found it already. This includes risks etc and does give the most accurate information, that they know of:

I will see if I can get any other information about any concrete research that has been done, or is being undertaken at the moment.



I breastfed on olanzapine and my 2 year old has not suffered any obvious ill effects but I definitely think I would be keen to be involved in research too if there was anyone out there studying it.

I too feel that despite being very challenging breastfeeding gave me a sense of purpose and helped in my recovery. It also prevented me from gaining too much weight! However after another stint on the meds without breastfeeding I've gained a couple of stone.

I think a lot of women are really worried about this and more research would help put minds at ease.


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