Q&A: Will herbs show up in breastmilk?

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Question by it is just me: Will herbs show up in breastmilk?
I’m thinking about taking some herbs to lose weight but, I’m still breastfeeding (pumping). Will these herbs affect the baby? If so, I don’t want to take them. Just curious as to what herbs will affect the baby. Are there any herbs out there that will help me lose weight but won’t hurt the baby?

Best answer:

Answer by Lady A
Whatever you eat is what comes across in the breast milk. The bottle will usually say if you are pregnant or nursing do not use.

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2 Responses to “Q&A: Will herbs show up in breastmilk?”

  1. tink writes:

    Not a good idea, it can effect your supply. Concentrate on eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water.

  2. mystic_eye_cda writes:

    Yes herbs appear in your milk. Many are safe, some are not.

    Most herbs used for weight loss aren’t safe for mom, let alone baby.

    Herbal weight loss products and breastfeeding

    By Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC

    Many herbal weight loss products contain some form of ephedra. It might be listed in the ingredients as Ma Huang, Ephedra sinica, Sida cordifolia, ephedra, ephedrine group alkaloids, ephedrine, etc. Some of the weight loss products that have contained ephedra include Metabolife, Herbalife, OmniTrim, Trim Easy, Diet Pep, MetaboSafe, geniCiL, AM-300, power drinks like Ultimate Orange, etc.

    I strongly urge you to avoid any products containing ephedra, whether or not you are nursing, as this can be quite dangerous. It is a natural treatment for asthma, but can cause a variety of heart-related problems including heart attack and death. Young people who didn’t know that they had underlying health problems have died with doses as low as 36 mg of ephedra. The FDA and Health Canada have issued several alerts regarding ephedrine-containing dietary supplements, and ephedra will be banned in the US in early 2004. Per Hale, there are no data available on how much ephedrine is secreted in human milk, however small amounts of a related drug (d-isoephedrine) is believed to be secreted into breastmilk.

    Another caution with regard to herbal weight loss products – most of these products contain a combination of different herbs. If your baby is sensitive to one or more of these herbs, it would be very difficult to determine which is the problem.
    Following are some of the other herbs commonly used in weight loss products:

    * Other stimulants – Ginseng, Caffeine (Guarana/Paullinea cupana, Kola Nut/Cola nitida, Yerba maté, Green Tea), Citrus Aurantium (Bitter Orange). Stimulants can affect baby’s sleep and feeding, and some may be dangerous to mom and/or baby.
    * 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is not recommended for nursing mothers as it could affect your infant’s neurological development and/or suppress lactation.
    * Chitosan is a fiber-like material from the shells of shellfish such as shrimp and crabs. There is no evidence that it aids weight loss, and it has the potential for serious allergic reaction in those allergic to shellfish.
    * Chromium Picolinate is a form of chromium. There is no evidence that it is effective for weight loss. See also:
    o Chromium picolinate and nursing
    o Chromium Picolinate and Weight Loss
    o Chromium Picolinate
    * Fiber – Psyllium
    * HCA (hydroxycitric acid), also known as Tripotassium Hydroxycitrate, Appetrim hydroxycitrate, etc. One source notes that “since hydroxycitrate can inhibit production of cholesterol and consequently of steroid hormones, its use should be avoided in young children, as well as during pregnancy and lactation.” See also: Hydroxycitrate as a weight loss ingredient.
    * Herbal Laxatives and Diuretics – Senna, Aloe Vera, Flaxseed, Gotu Kola, Damiana, Uva-Ursi/Bearberry, Dandelion Root, Chickweed, Glucomannon
    * Iodine/thyroid-stimulating sources – Kelp, Bladderwrack
    * St. John’s Wort

    Additional general information on herbal weight loss products:

    * Diet Pills: Too Good to Be True? by Lynn Grieger, R.D., C.D.E.
    * Weight Loss Magic – The Search for a Safe and Effective Substitute for Healthy Eating and Exercise by Barbara J. Moore, PhD

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