Quickbite: Psychotropic medication in breastfeeding

Dr Charles Musters and Dr Anthony Soares. Last updated: Dr Chrishanthy Grace Jayarajah

30 minutes


April 2021

CPD learning module

CPD domain:

Psychotropic medication in breastfeeding.jpg

Psychiatrists often need to prescribe medication to breastfeeding women. This is because mental illness is common in pregnancy and the postnatal period: around 13% of women develop postnatal depression, and 0.1% develop puerperal psychosis. Medication can be an important part of an overall treatment plan.

This may include antidepressants for patients with severe depressive illness, and antipsychotics used to treat or reduce the risk of puerperal psychosis. Psychological therapies also play an important role in the treatment of perinatal mental illness, but these are beyond the scope of this module.

Although the majority of medications are unlicensed in breastfeeding, many women need medication and wish to breastfeed. This module will give you the knowledge required to prescribe with confidence.


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