Three cases of lithium exposure and exclusive breastfeeding

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2012 Feb;15(1):69-72. doi: 10.1007/s00737-012-0257-3. Epub 2012 Jan 26.


The aim of this study was to provide data to aid decision making regarding lithium use during lactation. Three women treated with lithium for bipolar disorder during pregnancy and lactation and their four infants provided lithium levels at 1 month postpartum. Infant levels ranged from 10% to 17% of maternal levels. Two infants experienced early feeding problems which were overcome with breastfeeding education and support. Women taking lithium can be supported to breastfeed, and their infants should be followed closely until breastfeeding is well established.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antimanic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antimanic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antimanic Agents / blood*
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn / blood
  • Lithium / administration & dosage
  • Lithium / adverse effects*
  • Lithium / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Antimanic Agents
  • Lithium