Presentation Information

Briana Tillman

Psychiatric Topics in Breastfeeding

Abstract:

Due to the global shortage of mental health professionals, many primary care providers have become the first-line responders to a wide variety of psychiatric concerns. While lactation consultants and breastfeeding support counselors are not called upon to diagnose and treat mental health disorders, they nonetheless often become enmeshed in the topic due to the holistic nature of breastfeeding management. An understanding of the major psychiatric topics that can arise during lactation consultation is therefore a valuable asset.

In this presentation, we will describe mental health benefits and drawbacks of breastfeeding, and explore the controversy surrounding the “breast is best” campaign as it regards maternal mental health. We will also briefly explore the pharmacological and non-pharmacological options in treatment of major psychiatric disorders (e.g. generalized anxiety, major depressive disorder, bipolar mood disorder, schizophrenia) as they relate to lactation. Finally, we will review the scientific literature related to potential long-term mental health effects of breastfeeding on babies.