March 13, 2024 By Geraldine

Can You Have Herbal Tea While Breastfeeding?

can you have herbal tea while breastfeeding

Many mothers drink herbal tea to improve their health and wellbeing, with many varieties sold at supermarkets, pharmacies and natural health practitioners like naturopaths or Chinese doctors. Some varieties have calming properties like chamomile or fennel while others can help increase breastmilk production such as fenugreek and oats teas.

Most herbal teas contain caffeine, and although there are no specific Australian guidelines regarding safe levels for breastfeeding women, most health experts agree it’s wise to limit your consumption as some varieties of tea might contain more potency than others. In order to maintain a safe breastfeeding experience and meet breastfeeding-specific breastfeeding recommendations.

As most herbal teas are safe for consumption while breastfeeding, it is generally advised that they be included as part of your daily regimen. It is however wise to read ingredient labels carefully as some ingredients could alter the quality of breast milk production or may even prove hazardous for your baby’s wellbeing.

Therefore, it is wise to be wary when buying herbal tea from sources other than your supermarket or reputable retailer. Furthermore, drinking different kinds of tea each day will decrease how often any particular herb or ingredient will come into contact with your baby’s system.

Unfortunately, not all herbs and herbal products are regulated by the FDA; thus it can be difficult to know exactly what’s inside. Furthermore, certain herbs can be very potent and pose a potential threat to either you or your baby during gestation or early life.

As many breastfeeding mothers continue to use herbal supplements without regulation or rigorous scientific evaluation, pediatricians must be informed on their safety and efficacy.

Herbal teas to avoid during breastfeeding include echinacea, ginseng, yarrow, valerian, kava kava and herbal sleep aids like chamomile, fennel and mellow ginza. Oat straw and fennel teas that promote milk production should only be taken twice per day as they could increase iterations of breastfeeding.

Research on herbs and breastfeeding is generally low quality; more research needs to be conducted in order to assess their efficacy during breastfeeding, and guidelines must be established in order to evaluate their safety and efficacy. Studies conducted so far indicate that certain herbs such as St John’s Wort and garlic may be unsafe while pregnant or breastfeeding while others like dandelion root, passionflower and rose hip appear safe; further investigation should take place into how safe they are in relation to babies and mothers (2)