Melatonin and Breastfeeding

Before taking melatonin, breastfeeding women should ask their healthcare providers if it is okay to use the supplement. Melatonin may decrease prolactin, a hormone that is important for breastfeeding. Research also shows that the supplement passes through breast milk, but it is not known if it has any negative effects on a nursing child. Breastfeeding women should avoid melatonin until more information is available.

Melatonin and Breastfeeding: An Overview

It is not known whether melatonin supplements are safe for use in breastfeeding women. Until more information is available, it is a good idea to avoid melatonin while breastfeeding.

Melatonin and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced in the pineal gland. It is important for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although melatonin is a "natural" product, it does not necessarily mean that it is safe for use during breastfeeding. Research has shown that melatonin passes though breast milk, but it is not known if taking the supplement while breastfeeding has any negative effects on nursing infants. However, melatonin may decrease prolactin, a hormone that is important for breastfeeding.
While breastfeeding (especially in the early months after birth), the sleep cycle of the mother is almost always greatly disturbed due to frequent nighttime feedings, and no medication or supplement, including melatonin, can make up for this problem.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Melatonin and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about melatonin and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about melatonin and breastfeeding that is right for you.
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