15 answers

Herbs Ok to Take During Nursing

Greetings everyone. I recently had a milk production problem that was wonderfully resolved witht he help of fenugreek (amoung other things). I continued to take the fenugreek and now the bottle is gone. My question is, is it ok for me to take this on a regular basis to help keep good production? Should I be taking this or no? also, I am having a TERRIBLE time sleeping. My friend said she took valerian while nursing, does any one know anything about valerian, or anything else for that matter that will help me relax and fall asleep. I am getting desperate for a good nights sleep...I can feel my fringes coming unraveled. Thanks. PS-If your out there reading this Jan, I'd love some feedback from you...:-)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I know fenugreek is OK to continue taking, but I don't know about valerian root. Good luck with that night's sleep :O)

More Answers

Hi S.,

I'm a Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant specializing in Women's Health and Wellness. You can continue to take fenugreek or More Milk Plus which can be found at Whole Foods, take it in the tincture for maximum effectiveness. Now for the sleep:

Fatigue/sleepiness is a sign of a magnesium deficiency. Begin by eating magnesium rich foods, almonds, dark leafy green veggies, raw green veggies, sunflower seeds are all great food sources. You can take a Calcium/Magnesium supplement after dinner to help induce natural sleepiness. Eating too much sugar will deplete magnesium from the body...and when we are tired, we tend to eat high sugar foods to help sustain our daytime energy. Fenugreek is great b/c it also helps to balance blood sugars. Fenugreek is also in More Milk Plus.

Drink Chammomile tea 1-2hrs before bed as well, it is a natural sleep enhancer as well as a lavender pillow mist before bed. Lavender is a natural way to relax. A warm bath with lavender essential oils is another great way to help get the body to relax before bed. Warm bath will increase, then decrease body temp to induce natural sleep.

I would start with the above, before taking valerian. If you need more info, you can reply back. There are other issues going on with your lack of sleep, too much cortisol/high stress, possible or subclinical hypothyroid, very common in postpartum moms, poor diet, etc. (not sure how postpartum you are). So you have to take many things into consideration.

Good luck and let me know if I can be of any more assistance.

Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant

1 mom found this helpful

Try using lavendar applied as an oil or lotion to the skin. A massage therapist taught me to rub this on a family member having difficulty sleeping. Lavendar is known to help with relaxing. Also try resting in childs pose right before bed.
mom of 3, yoga teacher

1 mom found this helpful

For the trouble sleeping, we give my daughter Melatonin. It is the natural chemical that your body produces to fall asleep and she is lacking it. It is an over the counter natural supplement. I would check with your dr because I am not sure if it would travel through breast milk or not and if it does if it would be a problem for the little one, but that is always an option. It works wonders!!!
Hope this helps and good luck,


Check this site out, it's a great resource for breastfeeding moms. I got the link to the spot on herbs.

I read in a woman's magazine that if you take your calcium at night it helps with your sleeplessness. I started taking it and it has helped me so much. So anytime someone complains of sleep problems I tell them about calcium and how well it works for me.

Good Luck - let me know how it works.

Valerian Root can cause renal failure in both mom and baby. I'd steer clear.

Fenugreek and Marshmallow root are approved for milk production, as is Reglan, a prescription. They're all okay to keep taking, and are great to supplement 'Mother's Milk' tea, and an increase in pumping to create more demand, which will also create more supply.

Call LLL if you need anymore help! We're the pros! Go to llli.org to find a leader near you.

Hi S.,

Calcium/Magnesium is very beneficial. Taking it before bedtime could help you relax and sleep. I would take a very cautious approach to herbs and make sure that they are pure. It's important to know the source of the herb and what quality control studies have been done by the company to guarantee safety. With everything in the news these days about product contamination, it's important to go with a company who is trustworthy. As far as melatonin goes, it's true that melatonin naturally occurs in the body. When we asked the company I distribute for why they didn't have a melatonin product, the response was if you supplement with melatonin your body will stop making it and you will need to take it forever. The body is always trying to keep itself in balance, and will do what is has to do to achieve that. It's up to us to do our own research, before we take whatever is being advertised.

There have been a number of reports from other countries about valarian root that caused liver damage. I used to work at an alternative treatment treatment center, and we used virtually every nutrient and herb at our disposal - except for this one. Knowing the risks it had for adults, I would certainly not use it while I was breast feeding.

Also, just so you are aware, the active ingredient in most over-the-counter sleep aids is an antihistamine, most commonly diphenyhydramine... which while okay for your baby in the amount they would be exposed to in your breast milk, can actually dry up your supply again, so if you go this route - be careful.

S.-I would recommend melatonin, in my opinion it is more effective and valerian or the melatonin will not harm you at all. Fenugreek is absolutely wonderful for milk production as is marsh mallow and thistle plus they are calming herbs as well.

Herbs are alkalizing, calming and very beneficial for all parties involved. there is a wonderful book called the Green Pharmacy by Dr. James Duke. He will tell you which herbs to avoid while nursing, however the list is really short and provides all herbal remedies for any ailment.

Detxo Coach

Hi S.,
I have used red raspberry leaf capsules (as many as six a night when I was pregnant) each night as necessary. It is good for the reproductive organs, and gave me wonderful sleep!
A nice hot bath and absolutely no stimulants is, of course, a good idea, too.
Good luck!

S., Please, seek the advice from a holistic chiropractor and or a holistic nutritionist and maybe your MD. (They have different views on alternative therapies.) There are plenty in or around your area. there is one I recommend in Flossmoor,IL who is outstanding with these issues. His name is Dr. Jach. He is trained to use the supplements and homeopaths used, has been a chiropractor for 20+ years! S.

Although the fenugreek is helping with milk production, it may be the cause of your sleeplessness. I would try some of the other herbs mentioned to help with milk production to see if they have the same affect on your sleep. You should not take melatonin while nursing, (it says so right on the bottle)unless it is ok with your doctor. I think melatonin is wonderful and it helps me a lot, so if it is ok with your doctor, I would really recommend it. Good luck!

I know fenugreek is OK to continue taking, but I don't know about valerian root. Good luck with that night's sleep :O)

I would just check with your dr- or perhaps your daughters ped. As wonderful as some of these things are they are not regulated by FDA and there are not many- if any studies on the affects of it on our children. Good luck!

Fenugreek is fine to take while nursing. I'm so glad to hear that is has helped your supply issues. Another good one to take in conjunction with the fenugreek is blessed thistle.

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