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Lithium and Breastfeeding

It may not be recommended for women to take lithium while breastfeeding because the medication does pass through breast milk. However, it is not known if this causes any problems in the nursing infants. Therefore, if you are taking lithium and breastfeeding at the same time, be sure to watch for any side effects or problems in your child.

Lithium and Breastfeeding: An Overview

Lithium (Eskalith®, Eskalith CR®, Lithobid®) does pass through breast milk. Because of the potentially serious side effects that could occur in the nursing infant, women may not be advised to take the drug while breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or are thinking of breastfeeding and have been prescribed lithium, make sure to let your healthcare provider know.

Lithium and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Lithium passes through breast milk in women. However, it is not known if this will cause any problems in the breastfed infants. There have been several reports of women who took the drug while breastfeeding and did not notice any problems in their infants. However, it is unclear if long-term effects are possible. If your healthcare provider recommends taking lithium while breastfeeding, be sure to watch for any side effects in your child.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Lithium and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about lithium and breastfeeding. Everyone's situation is different, and your healthcare provider understands your situation best. After considering what you want and expect (as well as your current health situation), you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about lithium and breastfeeding that is right for you.
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