Are you a new mom who wants to take Ashwagandha while breastfeeding? Withania somnifera, commonly known as Ashwagandha, is an herb with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. It has gained popularity recently for its potential health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving brain function, and boosting fertility. However, there are concerns about its safety for both the mother and the baby.
Understanding how Ashwagandha may affect lactation and breast milk production is essential before deciding whether to take it during breastfeeding. We’ll also provide an overview of the different sections covered in this article and delve into the history of Ashwagandha.
Mothers’ health is crucial for their child’s well-being; therefore, understanding what you put into your body is vital. Let’s explore whether taking Ashwagandha while breastfeeding is safe for you and your baby.
Is Ashwagandha Safe to Take While Breastfeeding?
Lack of Research on Ashwagandha and Breastfeeding
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania, is a popular herb used in Ayurvedic medicine and dietary supplements that has been shown to have several health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety levels.
However, limited research is available on the safety of Ashwagandha for new moms during breastfeeding. It is recommended to consult with a doctor before taking any dietary supplements while breastfeeding.
Currently, no studies have investigated the effects of Withania, also known as Ashwagandha, on breast milk production or its potential impact on child health.
As a result, it is difficult to determine whether moms should take Withania while breastfeeding, especially during the first few weeks.
Potential Risks Associated with Using Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding
Although there is a lack of research on Ashwagandha and breastfeeding, some potential risks associated with using this herb while nursing should be considered.
Firstly, Ashwagandha may have an impact on hormone levels in the body. This could affect breast milk production or cause hormonal imbalances in nursing mothers.
Secondly, Ashwagandha in the form of gummies with a dose of more than 600 mg has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
If taken without consulting a doctor or combined with other medications that lower blood sugar levels, this could lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in both the mother and infant.
Finally, some people may experience allergic reactions when taking ashwagandha gummies. Although rare, these reactions can be severe and potentially life-threatening for both the mother and infant.
It is essential to consult with a doctor before taking any supplement, including ashwagandha gummies, and to follow the recommended mg dosage.
Importance of Consulting a Healthcare Provider Before Taking Ashwagandha
Due to the lack of research available on the safety of Ashwagandha during breastfeeding and its potential risks, it is essential for nursing mothers to consult their doctor before taking this herb and to be aware of the recommended dosage in milligrams (mg).
Healthcare providers can help assess safe dosages of Ashwagandha for individual nursing mothers based on their medical history and current health status, typically ranging from 250-600 mg per day. They can also provide guidance on potential side effects to watch for.
Benefits of Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding
Potential benefits for postpartum depression
Postpartum depression is a common condition that affects many lactating women. It can cause symptoms such as sadness, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
Studies have shown that ashwagandha supplements may help alleviate these symptoms in new mothers.
This is because Ashwagandha contains compounds that have been found to reduce inflammation and improve mood.
Possible reduction in stress and anxiety levels
Breastfeeding can be stressful, especially for first-time mothers. Ashwagandha has been found to help reduce stress and anxiety levels in both men and women.
This is because it contains compounds that help regulate the body’s response to stress by lowering cortisol levels.
Potential increase in breast milk production
Many new mothers struggle with low breast milk production. Ashwagandha has been used as a natural remedy to increase breast milk supply for centuries.
Studies have shown that taking ashwagandha supplements may increase prolactin levels, which are responsible for stimulating milk production.
May improve overall maternal health
Ashwagandha contains antioxidants that help protect the body against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
This can improve maternal health by reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, and improving heart health.
Risks of Using Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding
Possibility of Allergic Reactions
Ashwagandha is a herb used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat various health conditions. However, some people may develop an allergic reaction to Ashwagandha.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
If you experience these symptoms after taking Ashwagandha while breastfeeding, stop using it immediately and seek medical attention.
Potential Negative Effects on Infant Health
There is limited research available on the effects of Ashwagandha on infant health. Therefore, avoiding using this herb while breastfeeding is best, as it may adversely affect your baby’s health.
Some studies suggest that Ashwagandha may cause infant developmental delays or neurological problems.
Risk of Contamination or Adulteration in Supplements
Ashwagandha supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which means there is a risk of contamination or adulteration in these products.
Some supplements may contain harmful substances that could be passed on to your baby through breast milk.
Therefore, choosing a reputable brand is essential when purchasing ashwagandha supplements.
Ashwagandha can cause side effects such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. These side effects can be especially concerning for breastfeeding mothers as they can affect both the mother and the baby.
It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements while breastfeeding.
Dosage Recommendations for Using Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding mothers often wonder if it’s safe to take Ashwagandha, a popular adaptogenic herb known for its stress-relieving properties.
While Ashwagandha is generally considered safe, following recommended dosages carefully is essential to avoid potential risks.
Recommended Dosage Range for Lactating Women
The recommended dosage range of Ashwagandha for lactating women is 250-500mg daily. It’s best to start with the lower end of the dosage range and gradually increase as needed.
It’s important to note that there isn’t enough research on the safety of Ashwagandha during breastfeeding, so it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
Importance of Following Recommended Dosages Carefully
Taking too much Ashwagandha can cause side effects such as upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. High doses may reduce milk production in some women.
To ensure safety while taking Ashwagandha while breastfeeding, following recommended dosages carefully is essential.
If you experience any side effects or notice a decrease in milk supply, stop taking Ashwagandha immediately and speak with your healthcare provider.
Different Forms Available (Capsules, Powders, Teas)
Ashwagandha is available in different forms, such as capsules, powders, and teas. Capsules are the most convenient form since they allow precise dosing and easy ingestion.
Powders can be added to smoothies or other beverages but may be challenging to measure accurately without a scale.
Teas made from dried ashwagandha roots are also available, but their potency may vary depending on how they are prepared.
It’s essential to check the label and choose a reputable brand when purchasing any ashwagandha supplement.
Timing of Ashwagandha Use While Breastfeeding
Best Times to Take Ashwagandha While Breastfeeding
Ashwagandha is a popular herb used in Ayurvedic medicine that can help nursing mothers manage stress and anxiety.
However, it’s essential to consider the timing of ashwagandha use while breastfeeding to ensure safety for both mother and baby.
The best time to take Ashwagandha while breastfeeding is right after a feeding session or at least 30 minutes before the next feeding.
This ensures that the herb has enough time to be absorbed by the body and won’t be present in high concentrations during breastfeeding.
Factors That May Affect Timing
Several factors may affect the timing of ashwagandha use while breastfeeding, including postpartum recovery, sleep schedule, and feeding schedule.
- Postpartum Recovery: It’s essential to wait until your body fully recovers from childbirth before taking any supplements or herbs. Your healthcare provider can advise you when it’s safe to start taking Ashwagandha based on your recovery timeline.
- Sleep Schedule: The timing of ashwagandha use may also depend on your sleep schedule. If you’re struggling with insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns due to caring for a newborn, taking Ashwagandha before bed may help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
- Feeding Schedule: As mentioned earlier, avoiding taking Ashwagandha immediately before or during breastfeeding sessions is crucial. Plan your supplement intake around your baby’s feeding schedule for optimal safety.
It’s always advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements or herbs while breastfeeding.
They can help you determine if Ashwagandha is safe for you and provide guidance on proper dosage and timing.
Lowering Cortisol Levels with Ashwagandha
How cortisol affects the body during breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be stressful for new mothers, and stress can increase cortisol levels in the body.
Cortisol is a hormone the adrenal glands produce that helps regulate metabolism, immune response, and blood pressure.
However, when cortisol levels are too high for too long, it can lead to adverse health effects such as weight gain, decreased immune function, and increased risk of chronic diseases.
Adding ashwagandha gummies to your daily routine may help reduce stress and lower cortisol levels naturally.
Research supporting the use of Ashwagandha to lower cortisol levels.
Ashwagandha extract has been shown to help reduce cortisol levels in the body. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that participants who took Ashwagandha extract had significantly lower cortisol levels than those who took a placebo.
Another study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine found that ashwagandha supplementation helped improve stress resistance.
Other ways to reduce cortisol levels naturally
In addition to taking ashwagandha extract, there are other natural ways to help reduce cortisol levels in the body:
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise has been shown to help reduce stress and lower cortisol levels.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga have been shown to help reduce stress and lower cortisol levels.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can increase cortisol levels in the body, so it’s essential to get enough restful sleep each night.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help support overall health and may also help reduce stress.
Stabilizing Blood Sugar and Lowering Levels with Ashwagandha
In conclusion, while Ashwagandha is generally considered safe for consumption, it is essential to exercise caution while breastfeeding.
It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating Ashwagandha into your diet.
Some benefits of using Ashwagandha while breastfeeding includes stabilizing blood sugar levels and reducing cortisol levels.
However, there are also potential risks, such as allergic reactions or medication interactions.
If you choose to take Ashwagandha while breastfeeding, it is important to follow recommended dosage and timing guidelines.
It may be best to wait until after breastfeeding sessions to avoid any potential adverse effects on the infant.
Overall, while Ashwagandha can offer some benefits for new mothers, it is crucial to prioritize the safety of both mother and child. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
It is not recommended to take Ashwagandha during pregnancy as it may stimulate uterine contractions.
There is no evidence suggesting that taking Ashwagandha will impact breastmilk supply. However, always consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplements while breastfeeding.
Taking Ashwagandha has possible side effects, including upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you experience adverse effects, discontinue use immediately and consult a healthcare professional.
Always check with a healthcare professional before combining supplements or medications with Ashwagandha, as there may be potential interactions.
The effects of Ashwagandha may vary from person to person. Still, some studies suggest that benefits such as reduced stress and anxiety may be noticeable after a few weeks of consistent use.