NetWellness is a global, community service providing quality, unbiased health information from our partner university faculty. NetWellness is commercial-free and does not accept advertising.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Breast Feeding and Supplements
Is it safe for a mother who is breast feeding to take supplements with Ephedra or Mahuang in them?
Ephedra and Ma huang are often called `natural ecstasy` or `natural fen-phen` and is a stimulant. The FDA warns against using it as a diet aid and has banned the stimulant version. This herbal product can cause:
- Irregular heart beats
- Heart attacks
- Skin inflammation
- Urine retention
- Uterine contractions So as you can see this herb has many potential side effects. In addition it also interacts with: Drugs to relieve depression Beta-blockers Phenothiazines Sudafed Theo-Dur All drugs of these drugs are commonly prescribed. Any dietary supplement should be used with caution. Dietary supplements are not regulated, and the strength, quality, and amounts your body receive vary among brands and batches within brands. There has also been no research on the passage into breastmilk. Having a baby is stressful, and breastfeeding takes a lot of energy, but taking an herbal supplement is not the way to relieve your fatigue. Try to look at all you are trying to do, and see if you can reduce the number of things you are doing, or can they be given to someone else to do. (I know we all think that we are the only one who can do something, but, YOU are the only one who can breastfeed your baby, but others can cook, clean, watch other children and do laundry.) If you feel that you must take any supplement you MUST discuss this with your child`s health care provider.
* Learn important new information concerning the FDA withdrawal of dietary supplements containing Ephedrine Alkaloids (Ephedra or Ma Huang)
Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati