Resource: Breastmilk and Medication: Is it Safe for my Baby?
Updated: Nov 24
Providers who are not properly trained and up to date on perinatal mental health, medications and best practices often advise pregnant and postpartum women to stop all medications, resist prescribing a needed medication or prescribe such a low does that the medication is ineffective. Taking medication may not be the best treatment for every person and it might be important to cease certain classes of medications for the health of the fetus and parent. However, being Un-medicated or under-medicated leads to higher risk for postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and more clinical complications. A well-educated professional won't be defensive or intimidated by medication questions and will happily provide you with the research (and links) to back up their treatment recommendations.
1. Mother to baby
According to their website: MotherToBaby, a service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), is the nation’s leading authority and most trusted source of evidence-based information on the benefit or risk of medications and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. We specialize in answering questions about the benefit/risk of exposures, such as medications, vaccines, chemicals, herbal products, substances of abuse, maternal health conditions and much more, during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Our no-cost information service is available to people who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, their family members, health professionals, and the general public via chat, text, phone, and email in both English and Spanish.
2. MGH Center for Women's Mental Health
According to their website: The mission of The Center for Women’s Mental Health is to provide state-of-the-art evaluation and ongoing care for women who suffer from a spectrum of psychiatric disorders and to improve the lives of patients and their families. Clinical care at the Center is complemented by research across a range of areas including premenstrual dysphoric disorder, pregnancy and postpartum mood disturbance, and peri- and post-menopausal depression. The goal of conducted research is to address critical unanswered questions which can inform clinical care and to disseminate important research findings which emerge across the field of women’s mental health.
3. The Infant Risk Center
According to their website: The Infant Risk Center is used by physicians, nurses, lactation consultants, and mothers in every part of the world. Virtually all calls are about multiple drugs, averaging 3-4 individual drugs. We do our best to help moms, lactation consultants, and doctors evaluate the risk to the infant from exposure to multiple drugs, and keep the mom breastfeeding.
According to their database: LactMed is a database of drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided, where appropriate. All data are derived from the scientific literature and fully referenced. Data are organized into substance-specific records, which provide a summary of the pertinent reported information and include links to other NLM databases. Supplemental links to breastfeeding resources from credible organizations are also provided.
Lowther Counseling Services, www.LowtherCS.com, 2023
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