Because women with bipolar disorder are at high risk for relapse during the postpartum period, we typically recommend that women continue treatment with lithium throughout the postpartum period. While this intervention clearly decreases risk for postpartum psychiatric illness, the use of lithium while breastfeeding presents certain challenges.
We frequently receive questions regarding the safety of drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. While the harmful effects of alcohol use during pregnancy are well known, we have much less information regarding the consequences of alcohol [...]
We’ve all heard it: Breast is Best. We all know what it means. And if you have had a baby at some point over the last ten years, you have been encouraged, and maybe even [...]
Over the years, various studies have demonstrated the many advantages of breastfeeding, findings that have led the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend that all mothers breastfeed their children for the first year of the [...]
Although new mothers describe breastfeeding as a meaningful and fulfilling aspect of caring for their infants, breastfeeding is also a common source of stress and anxiety. Breastfeeding self-efficacy or BSE refers to a mother’s confidence [...]
This is one of the most common questions sent in to our website. Many women ask if it is safe to smoke while they are breastfeeding. Smoking is relatively common during pregnancy, with about 10% of all women smoking at some point during their pregnancy. The rates are even higher among women with psychiatric illness. While many women may be able to stop smoking or reduce their intake during pregnancy, most women resume smoking during the postpartum period. And women who suffer from postpartum depression are at even higher risk for smoking relapse.
We have seen multiple studies which indicate that postpartum depression (PPD) interferes with breastfeeding. Postpartum women who suffer from depression are less likely to breastfeed, and they typically breastfeed for a shorter duration than women who are not depressed. A recent study looks at an entirely different question, asking whether postpartum stress affects the quality of the breast milk. In this study, the researchers focused on levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the breast milk. (Immunoglobulins or antibodies are passed from the mother to the baby through the breast milk and help to confer immunity.)