September 29, 2008,
S.M. asks from Chicago, IL on September 26, 2008
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...:-)
T.C. answers from Bloomington on September 27, 2008
I know fenugreek is OK to continue taking, but I don't know about valerian root. Good luck with that night's sleep :O)
J.W. answers from Chicago on September 27, 2008
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.
J. W. MPH
Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant
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C.C. answers from Chicago on September 27, 2008
S.D. answers from Bloomington on September 27, 2008
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,
C.S. answers from Chicago on September 27, 2008
R.V. answers from Chicago on September 29, 2008
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.
C.C. answers from Chicago on September 26, 2008
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.
J.T. answers from Chicago on September 29, 2008
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.
M.K. answers from Chicago on September 27, 2008
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.