Check out this list of dangerous herbs to avoid during pregnancy and keep yourself and your baby safe! Keep reading to find out!
Breastfeeding and Milk Supply
When you are nursing your baby, your milk supply changes based on your diet, hydration, hormones, skin to skin contact, and stimulation. Like most mothers, you will constantly worry about whether you are producing sufficient milk for your baby and whether he is getting all the nourishment he needs. Certain herbs boost milk supply, some that decrease milk supply, and others that are dangerous as they are expressed in your milk and may harm your baby. This article lists out some herbs to avoid during pregnancy to keep your baby safe from any side effects.
Herbs that are Beneficial for Breastfeeding Mother
These herbs boost milk supply and have a host of other beneficial effects such as promoting immunity, relieving anxiety and stress, and improving general health.
- Stinging Nettle
- Red Raspberry Leaf
- Cramp Bark
- Rose Hip
- Oregon Grape Root
- St. John’s Wort
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Blessed Thistle
- Green tea
- Evening primrose
Of these, fenugreek is the most popular and widely used herb. You can infuse it as a tea and consume it while lactating. Nettle, in addition to increasing milk supply, is rich in iron, vitamins, and minerals. Garlic boosts milk supply, but its pungent flavor is expressed in breastmilk, and some babies may not like the taste. Rosehips has high amounts of vitamin C and is beneficial when consumed as a tea.
Herbs that Decrease Milk Production
Some herbs contain anti-lactogens or compounds that decrease milk supply in breastfeeding women. Small amounts of these herbs used in cooking may not have much impact, but excess consumption does significantly impact milk supply.
Black walnut, chickweed, herb robert, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, peppermint, thyme, sage, yarrow, sorrel, periwinkle, and spearmint can decrease your breast’s milk production. Still, the effect lasts only as long as you ingest the herb. Once you stop taking it, the supply goes back to normal.
Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy
These herbs pass to the baby through breastmilk. It is best to avoid consuming these herbs while breastfeeding. Rhubarb, ginseng, kava, Dong Quai, alder buckthorn, basil oil, aloe, licorice root, prickly ash, bladderwrack, wintergreen, black cohosh, wormwood, bearberry, and mate.
Herbs though natural, can still have potent side effects. Herbal remedies are prevalent since ancient times, yet they should be used with caution.
Furthermore, there is the danger of contamination of herbal supplements with pesticides or heavy metals. It is always better to consult your doctor before consuming these herbs. Buy them from a reputed seller and use them in moderation. The best way to increase milk supply is to feed your baby more often and to pump milk in between feeds.
Always consume herbs with caution if you are pregnant and it is highly advisable to contact your doctor before consuming anything on a daily basis.