After giving birth to three petite little girls, my husband and I decided that for our next birth, we would go "natural" before and hopefully after the birth. Well, I gave birth to a very healthy baby boy, weighing 8 pounds! The birth was an easy feat without drugs, but afterwards was another story! I had always taken my Vicodin after the birth of my girls (I was not breastfeeding), but this time I was nursing and did not want to take a narcotic. My doula and midwife suggested I check out herbs available to me, and so I contacted Herb Lore. They took much time to suggest a wonderful remedy for me - Postpartum Sitz Bath Herbs. But instead of taking a sitz bath with them, I followed the instructions for making a "tea" of the herbs and using sanitary pads to soak up some of the brew. I then froze the pads and wore them throughout the day and night. (Complete instructions are on the product label.) It was a WONDERFUL relief. I took no narcotics and unlike medication, I could use the pads as much as needed. I wish I had known about this technique after I had my girls! Timmy was my biggest baby, most pleasant birth, and easiest recovery (thanks to Herb Lore's herbs!!!). J.Y.
The lists below are not all-inclusive, but will provide a general guideline of some of the most commonly used western herbs that should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
When used in cooking, occasional use of the culinary herbs listed below is considered safe.
Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy
Kava Kava Root
Any herb used as a laxative
Herbs to Avoid During Lactation
Kava Kava Root
Pam's Rule of Thumb:
~ Assume that whatever you take, eat or drink could pass through the breastmilk to your baby. What it does for you, it can also do to your baby. This is critically important for moms who want to take something for weight loss, or as a stimulant for energy (coffee, chocolate, etc).
For further information on this subject, please see our Premium article "Herbs to Avoid During Pregnancy and Lactation: The In-Depth Version" (coming soon!). In this version, you will be given specific reasons why a particular herb may be contraindicated for a pregnant or breastfeeding mother.
written by Pam Caldwell
Certified Herbalist --- Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum & Lactation Specialist