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Common Patient Questions During Pregnancy and Lactation
Dr. Heather Boyd-Roberts

Can I take this herb while pregnant or while breast feeding?

A common question that I receive is if a patient can take something while pregnant or breast feeding. Much research is still needed in this area and presently we are left with anecdotal advise. My rule of thumb during pregnancy is to use very little and only what has been prescribed by your medical doctor or naturopath.

Breast feeding is thought to not have as many dangers because the baby is fully developed, however, some herbs can be harmful to the baby or others can reduce milk supply. Most herbal treatments have not been thoroughly researched especially in regard to lactation so a lot of herbal safety information is unknown. It is best to avoid most herbs while breast feeding unless absolutely necessary. See below for an option if you catch a cold or get sick while nursing.

Generally large amounts of the herbs are not recommended but using thyme or sage in your food is not a problem. However, Sage is often used to help reduce milk supply so if you are having challenges with your supply it is best to avoid these even in small amounts.

Here is a partial list of herbs that can reduce milk supply:

Black Walnut
Chastetree
Chickweed
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
Lemon Balm
Oregano
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)/Menthol
Periwinkle Herb (Vinca minor)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
Spearmint
Thyme
Yarrow

I am sick and I'm breast feeding. What can I take?

It is generally considered safe to use the Breast Feeding Winter Mix which contains Echinacea, Elderberry and Rosa Canina in addition to Liposomal Vitamin C. It it an immune boosting combination without ingredients that are thought to be unsafe during lactation.

Breast Feeding Winter Mix: 1 to 2 dropperfuls every 2 hours

Optimal Liposomal Vitamin C 1 tsp every 2-4 hours depending on how sick you are. Using Liposomal Vitamin C 1 tsp daily can help with your babies brain development because it not only contains vitamin C, but it also contains 500mg of phophatidyl choline due to its liposomal delivery system.

It is safe to add Unda drainage or hydrotherapy during lactation. Information of how to do this is listed here. Flu, Sick, What to Do?