Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: herbs and breastfeeding
From: (Sharon Rust)
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 1995 11:14:04 -0700

> Does anone know of a book that specifically addresses herb use while breastfeeding? I have Susun Weeds books and Rosemary Gladstars. That is what has been available to me. There are no herbalists in my area. I know a littl about using herbs, just not alot bout using them while nursing.

I have not seen any one book which addresses nursing and herbal use, in a few books there are some blurbs, Joy Gardener's book "Healing the Family","Hygieia, a woman's herbal" Jeannine Parvati and past issues of "Mothering Magizine".

My rule of thumb is to act as if you are pregnant while breastfeeding, some things are passed into breastmilk at our body level, somethings go in at greater concentrations to breastmilk, some things go into breastmilk minimally. The counter indicated herbs in pregnancy, are often not to be used while breastfeeding, laxatives or purgatives, may strongly affect a baby, I am also not a big one for the use of Golden Seal, because of its hypoglycemic action, as an antibiotic I prefer garlic if it doesn't cause gas problems. Find a La Leche League, or their 800 number and contact them ,often they have info or can refer you to someone who does.

An additional note I would like to make is that I DO NOT recommend feeding a baby comfrey tea or any bottle before your milk supply is established, this is one of the few times I disagree with Susun Weed's recommendations. For the most part breastfeeding early and often is the best start for your baby. Feeding a new (just learning) infant from a bottle can cause nipple confusion, and has a direct effect on your milk supply. Breastfeeding is supply and demand. The early days are important in establishing a milk supply and educating a baby on how to nurse. The colostrum and early half milk serves many purposes -- it is very high in antibodies; it is laxative and helps the muconium to pass, thus lowering the bilirubin levels; helps the babe to establish the right flora in the intestines and is the most digestable food for your baby.

In addition there is a "alt breastfeeding" news group.