Will I be able to breastfeed if I'm on medication?

Breastfeeding has benefits for your baby, and health professionals will encourage you to do it if you can.

They should talk to you about treatments that you could take if you decide to breastfeed. Many types of medication for mental health problems can pass through your breastmilk but in most cases it is in extremely small amounts (considerably less than the amount that would have been passed through during pregnancy, for example). A few medications may affect your baby however so health professionals will discuss the risks of starting, stopping, continuing or changing medication with you.

Read more about support and treatment options.

If you need medication that means breastfeeding isn’t safe for your baby, or there are other reasons breastfeeding is not for you (such as the impact of sleep deprivation on your mental health) you should be supported and not made to feel guilty about this. It is important to your baby that you are not unwell.

If you are breastfeeding and are taking medication for a mental health problem, your baby should be checked for any side effects.

Read more about specific mental health conditions

Other resources

Sources

  1. NICE (2014) Information for the public: Mental health in pregnancy and the year after giving birth.http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg192/resources/information-for-the-public-mental-health-in-pregnancy-and-the-year-after-giving-birth-pdf
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Last reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.

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