There are times when psychotherapy alone is not enough to help those struggling with their mental health. Often times, people are prescribed psychotropic drugs to help enhance their wellbeing while still attending therapy sessions. However, taking psychotropic drugs could potentially pose a risk to the baby if the person struggling with their mental health is pregnant or breastfeeding.
The decision to use medications to treat a mother’s mental health condition should not be taken lightly. To help develop a treatment plan that best fits the mother’s needs while protecting her baby, please browse these resources that provide information on how to use psychiatric drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women’s Mental Health has created a Women’s Mental Health website that has an entire section around Breastfeeding and Psychiatric Medications. This section has blog articles written by physicians as well as links to clinical research studies.
You can find the specialty section of their website on Breastfeeding & Psychiatric Medications here, as well as use that to navigate to other areas of women’s mental health. Women’s Mental Health website
The National Institute of Mental Health has a section of their website dedicated to mental health medications with a special section on children, older adults and pregnant women. It gives broad guidelines about which types of medications are thought to be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women and which types to avoid. This information can be found on the NIMH website: National Institute of Mental Health
Mother to Baby is a non-profit dedicated to providing evidence-based information on medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding. On their website, they have fact sheets for almost 100 different types of medications and what research says about the safety of use during pregnancy, as well as similar fact sheets on herbal products, infections and vaccines, maternal medical conditions (including depression), substances of abuse, occupations exposures, and other common exposures. These fact sheets can be viewed online or downloaded as PDF in both English and Spanish.
Mother to Baby Fact Sheets
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also has many resources available on their website for members, including a chart that outlines the safety of use of psychiatric medications during pregnancy and lactation. If you’re a member, be sure to visit their website to see the most up to date chart of medications.