16, Apr 2024
Can You Have Herbal Tea While Breastfeeding?

can you have herbal tea while breastfeeding

Many new mothers find that drinking herbal tea while breastfeeding can be immensely helpful, helping regulate milk supply and ease colic in infants. It’s important to do your research though and figure out whether drinking certain kinds of herbal tea while nursing will have negative side effects for both mother and child.

As herbal tea is made of natural ingredients, it may still contain chemicals and toxins that may pass through a mother’s breast milk to her infant, it’s wise to choose organic teas made with certified organic herbs and vegetables only. Also avoid drinking teas with licorice root, parsley, fennel, vervain or green anise as these ingredients have been known to stimulate gastric acid secretions which could compromise an infant’s digestion.

Chamomile tea can be used as a relaxing aid and to ease nausea, yet is not advised while breastfeeding, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Chamomile contains an active substance called apigenin that may trigger allergic reactions in some infants.

Fenugreek tea, known for its galactogenic effect and ability to increase levels of oxytocin–the hormone responsible for stimulating milk letdown–can be consumed while breastfeeding; however, excess consumption could result in an excess supply of breast milk production. However, as drinking too much fenugreek tea could increase levels of its own hormone and result in an oversupply.

Other popular breastfeeding herbal teas include hibiscus, lavender and lemon balm teas. While all are considered safe in small doses, it’s important to remember they may cause different effects depending on the mother and infant involved; thus it is advised to only consume one or two cups of each herb per day and alternate them periodically.

As part of their diet during gestation and nursing, pregnant and nursing mothers should reduce the amount of caffeine that they consume; too much caffeine may interfere with an infant’s sleep patterns. Nonherbal, caffeinated teas typically contain between 40-50 milligrams of caffeine per cup while decaffeinated varieties may contain some lesser doses.

Though many breastfeeding mothers swear by drinking herbal tea during breastfeeding, there hasn’t been much research that backs this up. Most herbal teas without medicinal benefits should be safe to drink in small quantities and it is suggested that only a few cups per herb be consumed per day in order to limit how long a mother spends drinking each type of tea.

Consultations with healthcare professionals are often the best way for women to determine whether it is safe for them to consume herbal tea while breastfeeding, and will identify which herbs are considered suitable as well as provide guidelines and quantities appropriate for consumption during this time. They can also advise how best to prepare a blend tailored specifically towards breastfeeding mothers’ individual needs.

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