Q: My sister is 35 years old and she has suffered from depression for
10 years. She is treated with Rispolept. Currently she is pregnant and is expecting her baby in 5 weeks. She has been taken this medicine during the whole pregnancy except for the first three months of the pregnancy. The doctor has decided that she goes for a cesarean delivery. My questions are: is it safe to breastfeed the baby while continuing to take the medicine, does she have to take the medicine also on the day of delivering the baby and on the first days after the delivery, how can she react after the delivery, is the baby going to have any health problem immediately once born and/or during his first years of life. The entire family is really worried about this and would like to know how we can help our sister to pass this period as easily as possible. Looking forward to hear from you… Many thanks.

A: This question is somewhat out of my expertise. I understand your concern in this situation. I am not familiar with the medication you listed and wonder if you mean Risperdal. There is always some risk involved if a pregnant (or breast feeding) woman uses psychotropic medications but this risk needs to be weighed with the risk of not being on her medication and having a relapse of severe depression. As a general rule of thumb, when a woman breast feeds what goes in her body goes into the baby’s. With these types of medications it is not advised to miss a few days as you are suggesting and I don’t think that it would make a big difference. In cases like these I always strongly encourage the client to make sure her psychiatrist (or family doctor) is communicating with her OB/GYN. Let the experts help her make her decisions in this regard. I sincerely hope everyone remains healthy through this process.