18 answers

Taking Supplements While Breastfeeding

I was wondering if any of you know if it's ok to take supplements while nursing? i've been working out and i really want to get in excellent shape. Anyway, my husband bought me some muscle milk,it's some type of protein shake, its suppose to help burn fat, stimulate muscle synthesis, boost nitrogen balance, and increase oxygen delivery. It says it has micellar proteins, leanlipids, growth peptides, complete caseins, peptides, lactalbumins, and lactoferrin. I wanted to know if this is safe? please only respond if you know facts. thanks :)

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I do know that Muscle Milk contains Sucralose, an artificial sweetener that's touted as "perfectly safe" by those trying to sell it. It's the newest one and, because of this, long term effects cannot be known. Just remember that thalidomide was also touted as "perfectly safe" before the massive and tragic side effects were proven.

I don't know that you should trust anyone who claims to "know the facts." There are always completely opposing "facts" to be found on such issues. I, personally, err on the side of safety. I try not to put anything in by body, or my baby, that is at all questionable. Good luck.

Read the label if it says okay to take while breastfeeding then it is okay. If it say ask the doctor than ask him. When I breastfeed I was unable to take anything of the sort. My doctor told me any type of supplement even most vitamins could be harmful. I was only to take my prenatal vitamin and that was it... It is usually not worth the risk.

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My advice is to get the product information and take it with you to your next pediatrian appointment. I too am breastfeeding and drink protein shakes and fiber shakes. But they are vegan - and the product is herbally and botanically based. Even with the product I use I've checked with my doctor. Hope this is sort of helpful to you.

*Always* check with your MD before you take supplements of any kind while breast feeding.

I wouldn't bother with it at any time, and would certainly hesitate to use it while nursing. Boost nitrogen balance? WT Heck does that mean? How do you boost a balance? Since he bought it, let your DH use it and work out with you! ;)

Sorry if I sound cranky right now, but it doesn't sound like a useful product to me.

I'm an MD and would strongly recommend not taking any supplements while breastfeeding. These are not always harmful necessarily, but they are non FDA-regulated and are not required to list all their ingredients or side effects. They can also claim anything they want and do not have to back it up with data. For many of these supplements, the effects are not well known because they have not been studied rigorously. Many people assume that anything touted as "natural" or "herbal" cannot be harmful. This is not the case. I always tell my patients, "all herbs are drugs" - because anything you put in your body acts as a drug of some sort (conversely many "drugs" are herbs; examples include penicillin and digitalis). The benefit you might get from this supplement is questionable at best and is not worth a risk to your baby's health.

My advice about supplements is to research and purchase a supplement not made in the USA. For example, some supplements are regulated in Canada. If a particular supplement is manufactured in canada it may be regulated depending on the supplement’s function, ingredients, and whether a claim is made. Buyer beware though because certain products are not licensed and those non licensed products are not subject to the same strict manufacturing and labeling requirements as licensed medicines.

Hello Sephanie.
I have a 7 month old that I'm nursing and I use Muscle Milk as a meal replacement. I was concerned about supplements so I asked my obgyn and he said as long as I was taking my prenatal vitamin along with the protein it would be fine. If you're still nervous about using Muscle Milk because of the additional amino acids and proteins try pure whey protein. It also assists in muscle building.

Hope that helps a bit.

Read the label if it says okay to take while breastfeeding then it is okay. If it say ask the doctor than ask him. When I breastfeed I was unable to take anything of the sort. My doctor told me any type of supplement even most vitamins could be harmful. I was only to take my prenatal vitamin and that was it... It is usually not worth the risk.

Honestly, I'd stick to the prenatal vits. Now is not the time to try losing wieght. You need it to make milk for your baby. Once you stop nursing, go for it, but I'd play it safe while nursing.

Good luck!

The best advice I can give would be to check with the expert. That should be your pedi MD.

HI Stephanie,

I went to their website and at first glance I don't see anything that would be dangerous while breast feeding. However, they do not give a complete list of the ingredients, so I don't know whether it contains undesirable additives or not. This is what I would be looking for as potential problems: Individual amino acids, which might skew the amino acid makeup of your milk. Any herbs that could affect hormone balance or function (They are not all contraindicated per se, but I would want to look at each one individually). I am not sure what they mean by growth peptides, but it could be a reference to some kind of growth hormone analogue that could be problematic.

I have 2 other concerns that I want to share. Because your daughter is under one, she might be very sensitive to having additional casein added to her diet. If she is sensitive, it increases her chances of developing a milk allergy. My final concern is about the source of their ingredients. If the company is sourcing its products from conventional animal sources, which are high in hormones and toxins, those hormones and toxins could potentially be concentrated in the protein powder.

There are some other protein powders out there that do source from organic and grass-fed sources, if you are interested in a similar supplement. You can also choose to increase your intake of food proteins like meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Then you can be sure that it is safe for breastfeeding. You don't really need special products to get in shape. It is your hard work combined with a whole foods diet that will really get you there.

I hope this information is useful!

Best,
E. Bender, NC
Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and mom to a 4 year old son
www.nutritionforthewholefamily.com

Muscle Milk has Acesulfame Potassium and Sucralose which are artifical sweeteners. Sucralose aka Splenda, is relativly new and not enough info about it's long term effects on pregancy or breastfeeding. Acesulfame Potassium aka Sweet One or Acesulfame K, has a longer history and not suggested during pregnancy or breastfeeding. That's about all I know about Muscle Milk. Hope this helps.

I really think this question should be answered by a Pediatrician. I'm taking 200mg of Chromium Picolonate, and my Pediatrician ok'ed it, for what it's worth. Have fun reclaiming your body! I'm down 10 lbs now since the initial weight loss. It's been 5 months...taking it slow, so as not to compromise the milk supply. I was also told not to lose more than 1/2 a pound to 1 lb per week.

Hi,

I don't know "the facts" so to speak, but I do know that, in general, fat burining supplements should be avoided while breastfeeding (since breastmilk is mostly fat). I highly recommend contacting a lactation consultant or pediatrician about this.

L.

I don't know about the supplements your husband bought for you but I have been on Herbalife since '97 when my 2nd of 3 children was 2 months old. I took the supplements through breast feeding and pregnancy to gain better health and nutrition the only side affect that I had was weight loss. The products are 100% natural and FDA approved.

Hi Stephanie, Please check with your doctor and pump and dump before breastfeeding while taking this stuff. It doesn't sound like stuff you want your baby ingesting. :-)

Stephanie,
I think it probably is safe to use while Br.feeding- be caution though, if your daughter gets colicky- then most likely it is the supplements. Babies sometimes get colicky just with moms just taking vitamin supplements.
-LT

I do know that Muscle Milk contains Sucralose, an artificial sweetener that's touted as "perfectly safe" by those trying to sell it. It's the newest one and, because of this, long term effects cannot be known. Just remember that thalidomide was also touted as "perfectly safe" before the massive and tragic side effects were proven.

I don't know that you should trust anyone who claims to "know the facts." There are always completely opposing "facts" to be found on such issues. I, personally, err on the side of safety. I try not to put anything in by body, or my baby, that is at all questionable. Good luck.

Hi. I worked in the health, suppliment, and nutrition field for years and recently gave birth to my son. If you take anything, it should be a prenatal or something else designed for infant and mother dietary needs, definately not muscle building material. I understand wanting to get in shape, but your main job at this point is to provide the most nutritious milk for your baby. No offense, but breast milk is too important to mess with for vanity's sake. If you breastfeed faithfully you burn 500 calories a day anyway, and you build extra muscle just lifting the baby. Want more muscle, add more weight bearing to your exercise routine and do each rep slower, but do not use muscle building suppliments. Build baby's body first!

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