Use of herbal agents by breastfeeding women may affect infants.

Pediatr Ann 2004 Apr;33(4):235-40

Nebraska Teratogen Information Service, Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 985450 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-5450, USA.

Breastfeeding women increasingly are taking herbal medications. Physicians dealing with women wishing to breastfeed should ask specifically about use of herbal and non-traditional medications. Important questions include why the herbals are being used, what benefits the patient is attempting to achieve, and whether it is truly critical to take the herbal agent during the time of breastfeeding. There are often other medications with known safety profiles during breastfeeding that can be used instead. If the herbal medication is not critical to a woman's health, it can often be deferred during the time of breastfeeding, the safest way to avoid any potential complications. To be able to discuss these issues with mothers who are planning to breastfeed, the clinician must become aware of which herbal medications are in use and understand their potential side effects. The more knowledge the health professional has regarding complementary medicine, the more trust the patient will have in discussing these issues and working with the physician to minimize any dangers to the breastfeeding infant.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/0090-4481-20040401-09DOI Listing
April 2004
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