Valerian and Breastfeeding

Prior to using valerian, breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare provider. It is not known if the supplement passes through breast milk or if it is safe for use during breastfeeding. Until more information is available on the safety of taking valerian while breastfeeding, women should typically avoid this herbal supplement while nursing a child.

Is Valerian Safe During Breastfeeding?

It is not known if valerian supplements are safe for use in breastfeeding women. Valerian is an herbal remedy often used to treat insomnia, although it is supposedly useful for treating other conditions as well. Until more information is available, it is a good idea to avoid valerian while breastfeeding.

Valerian and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

It is unknown if valerian passes through breast milk. Although the herbal supplement is a "natural" product, it does not necessarily mean that it is safe for use during breastfeeding. Many women try to avoid medications while breastfeeding and turn to herbal remedies as an alternative, assuming that "natural" automatically means "safe." However, natural products can be quite toxic. For instance, many poisons and toxins are natural products. It just does not make sense to use an herbal supplement for which there is no information available about its safety during breastfeeding.
Keep in mind that just because other women who are breastfeeding have used a natural product without any problems, it does not mean that it is safe. It takes a large group of breastfeeding women taking a particular medication or herb to see if it increases the risk of problems or side effects in infants, as these problems usually occur infrequently.
While breastfeeding, especially in the early months after birth, the sleep cycle is almost always significantly disturbed, due to frequent nighttime feedings. In these cases, there is no medication or supplement, including valerian, that can make up for this problem.
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