Can You Breastfeed While Taking ADHD Medication?

by Katie Black


There’s a lot of confusion about taking medications while breastfeeding. On the one hand a lot of medications can and do leak into breast milk. On the other hand, by not breastfeeding your baby, they’re missing out on a lot of important health benefits. Some moms are advised to stop breastfeeding due to fear of negative effects without any evidence which can cause more harm than good. The pros and cons need to be weighed on a case-by-case basis. 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common condition that affects both children and adults. It has symptoms like difficulty paying attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. If you have ADHD and want to breastfeed, you’re probably wondering if it’s safe to take ADHD medication while breastfeeding. 

The short answer: it depends.

Related: The Link Between Breastfeeding and ADHD

First and foremost, it’s really important to talk with your doctor before going on or off any meds whether or not you breastfeed. 

Some ADHD medications, such as stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall, do pass through breast milk, but the levels are normally very low. These medications are considered generally safe to take while breastfeeding.

Other ADHD medications, such as Strattera, are non-stimulant options that do not pass through breast milk as easily and are considered safer for breastfeeding mothers. How often and how much you take also changes things as well as what time of day (or night) you take them. 

To check your specific medication, you can also use LactMed, a large drugs and lactation database where you can search up names of specific meds to see how much can get into your breast milk and what negative effects they can have on your little one. 

It is important to note that every woman and every baby is different, so what may work for one mom may not work for another. It's also important to consider the potential side effects of the medication on the baby, as well as the potential risks of not treating a mom’s ADHD. 

In summary it's important to talk to your doctor about the specific medication you are taking and the potential risks and benefits. They’ll be able to give the best treatment option for you and your little one. In general, you’ll find it’s safe to take ADHD meds while breastfeeding but be sure to monitor your baby’s health while doing so. 

It can be tough to balance ADHD and parenthood and knowing which course of action to take can be complicated and stressful. But remember that you can only take care of your baby’s needs if you’re also taking care of your own. 


The American Academy of Pediatrics, Volume 123, Issue 3


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