Arts & Entertainments

Can You Have Herbal Tea While Breastfeeding?

Many breastfeeding moms ask themselves whether it is possible to drink herbal tea while breastfeeding, the answer being yes; however, you must be wary that certain herbs and teas may interfere with breast milk production or cause harm to both mother and baby.

Herbal teas are beverages crafted from the roots, berries, flowers, seeds and leaves of various plants, usually to treat various health problems. Some contain high concentrations of antioxidants or phytochemicals with potential health benefits – although most herbal teas do not adhere to government regulations and thus don’t offer the same level of safety as nonherbal varieties.

Most nonherbal teas and iced coffee contain some form of caffeine, which should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers as it crosses the placenta to reach the developing baby. Caffeine may also lead to infant sleep disorders. It’s advised that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers consume no more than 300mg of caffeine daily; but you can still enjoy a cup of herbal tea or coffee as long as it’s decaffeinated or made with an herb which doesn’t contain caffeine.

Herbs and spices in moderation are generally safe to consume in moderation, such as cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Such spices have long been used to soothe digestive ailments like indigestion or nausea while relieving arthritis pain or cold symptoms. However, excessive consumption can lead to gastrointestinal issues in women who are breastfeeding.

There are various herbal teas traditionally used to promote lactation and support breast feeding, such as fenugreek, nettle and alfalfa teas; other common herbs include goat’s rue, fennel and raspberry leaf teas. Unfortunately, none of these herbal remedies has been clinically proven as an effective means of increasing milk supply; breastfeeding mothers should avoid drinking them. Furthermore, mint and parsley tea may inhibit it instead.

Other herbal teas to avoid include yarrow, St. John’s wort and senna. These plants can interact with some medications and cause adverse side effects in breastfeeding mothers; the best way to determine whether any given tea is safe is speaking to a healthcare provider about it.

Many mothers are wondering whether it’s safe to consume chamomile tea while breastfeeding. Chamomile is a common ingredient found in herbal tea blends and it has relaxing and calming properties, according to the American Pregnancy Association. When taken in moderation while breastfeeding, however, chamomile can be safely consumed according to American Pregnancy Association recommendations; if experiencing other issues such as indigestion and insomnia you should not rely on this herb as its efficacy has yet to be scientifically demonstrated; for this reason it would be best advisable for pregnant mothers as its long term effects on babies is unknown.