Any moms taking herbal remedies?

Bobbie - posted on 12/18/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have ulcerative colitis and haven't been able to take my medication while breastfeeding as it enters the milk. Frankly, I'm a bit anti-medicine anyway, but my problems are becoming unbearable. My doctor recommends that I wean my 8 month old and start taking my pills again, but that's not an option for me (or my baby since she refuses a bottle). My online research led me to the alternatives of taking a few things: probiotics, omega 3 fatty acids, evening primrose oil, and even aloe vera (taken orally). I was excited until I went to the drugstore and started reading the warning on all the labels that you should consult a doctor if breastfeeding. After MORE researching, it looks like not a whole lot is known about the effects on breastfeeding in some of these. I need to do something! I am really suffering, but I'm also too worried about harming my baby. Is anyone else taking any kind of herbs or supplements and care to share their experience? Am I being overly cautious or not cautious enough?

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Carol - posted on 12/18/2009

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Mesalamine (aka AsacolPentasa, Rowasa, Canasa, Colazal Lialdaxa) is rated L3 - moderately safe for use by BF moms. For comparison, formula is considered to be L4 - possibly hazardous due to the well researched and well known risks. It also helps to know that it is pregnancy category B.

In research studies of BF moms taking Mesalamine 1 child had watery diarrhea - this was resolved when mother stopped taking it. Other studies reported no effects on infants. The adjusted infant dose via BM is 8.7% of the adult dose - in general we are not concerned when the adjusted dose is less than 10%.

FWIW, drugs.com is also not accurate in regards to safety of meds while BF - they get most of their info from the drug insert which are not accurate, so........If you want an online source for BF info the best bet is the Lactmed database http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/ht... - you can search there by medication name. It is my second choice for info AFTER Dr. Hale and Medications and Mother's Milk.

You might suggest to your pediatrician that they get a copy of Dr. Hale's book so that they can give accurate information.

Bobbie - posted on 12/18/2009

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The medication prescribed by my doctor was Asacol or Rowasa used as an anti-inflammatory. My pediatrician was the one who advised against taking it, and I looked it up on drugs.com. Thank you for the information! I have never heard of Dr. Thomas Hale so I will definitely look into that.

Carol - posted on 12/18/2009

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Probiotics (probiotics are often used in mom and baby directly to help prevent thrush), EPO and the Omega 3's I would have no problem with taking while BF. There is little research done in regards to herbals and BF moms. Oral Aloe Vera can cause gastrointestinal upset , so personally I would not take it. MOre on herbals while BF here: http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/index.htm...



Actually more research has been done on conventional medications. How did you determine that the med your Dr. recommends is not safe for BF moms? Did you consult Medications and Mother's Milk by Dr. Thomas Hale? He is THE authority on what meds are and are not safe while BF. I have Medications and Mother's Milk, so if you tell us the medication in question I will be happy to look it up for you. FWIW, I have counseled a number of moms that have UC and have been able to continue meds while pg or BF, so it is possible that the medication you need might be okay for BF moms.



Keep in mind that ALL medications will say on the package insert etc that they are not safe or to consult a Dr before taking while BF. This is a CYA by the drug manufacturer to protect them from lawsuits not to protect you and your baby. KWIM? The drug companies do not look at or consider the research done by others (including Dr. Hale) . So even if a medication is safe they will put a warning on it to protect themselves. UGH! That information is then put into the PDR and for many Dr. that is the only source they consult about medications. This unfortunately leads a lot of women to either needlessly wean or not get treatment.



This article has some general information about medications while BF from Dr. Jack Newman (for the most part it does not cover specific meds, but it explains why most meds are safe while BF). http://www.kellymom.com/newman/09a-drugs...

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