Psychedelic Medicine


Psychedelics for Postpartum Mood Disorders with Melissa Whippo, LCSW


In this episode of the Psychedelic Medicine Podcast we discuss the topic of psychedelics and postpartum mood disorders. Melissa Whippo is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in the intersection of women’s health and psychedelics. She founded a non-profit, Deva Collective, which has fiscal sponsorship with MAPS, and is currently conducting research about perimenopause and microdosing San Pedro.

In this conversation, Melissa shares the details of existing research into psychedelic treatments for postpartum populations. She discusses the findings from her study on “The Pharmacokinetics of Ketamine in the Breast Milk of Lactating Women,” reporting that ketamine was not detected at all in breast milk twelve hours after dosing. She also shares information on parents’ intentional use of microdosing and what motivates them to take up this practice. In closing, Melissa discusses her upcoming research on microdosing San Pedro among perimenopausal populations and why she decided to focus on San Pedro for this study.

In This Episode

• The early research into ketamine for postpartum depression and whether ketamine remains in breast milk
• The prevalence of mood concerns in the postpartum population
• Issues of access with ketamine treatments for new mothers
• Improvements in postpartum mood patients following ketamine treatments that Melissa has seen in her practice
• Hormone changes after giving birth and how this might relate to mood concerns
• Ketamine for postpartum pain


“The reason why ketamine and other psychedelics appeal to me more [than other treatments for postpartum depression], is it’s not a medicine you have to take every day and it’s not a medicine that’s going to cause a significant separation [with the newborn] like a hospital admission would.” [5:55]

“More SSRI—which is still considered safe by the medical profession—passes through the breastmilk than ketamine. Probably nanograms. And ketamine has such a short half-life in the system, particularly with the intramuscular route of administration, that twelve hours after dosing, the breast milk was completely clear.” [14:22]

“That’s what ketamine does so well—it gives people a different view of some of the things they’re really struggling with that they can’t quite break through. Some of these more recursive ruminations that seem to befall mothers quite a bit—and they’re usually pretty negative. But the medicine space gives them a different view.” [18:52]


* The Psychedelic Medicine Podcast has allowed the Psychedelic Medicine Association to post episodes as an educational resource, and in return the PMA is hosting the podcast show notes.