January 9, 2008

Herbs and Bodycare Ingredients to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Most conscientious breastfeeding mothers know what foods to avoid while nursing. The combination differs for babies on some things like caffeine, chocolate, dairy, and soy, and I have learned what to avoid, tailored to Olivia's reaction to certain foods. But what about all the nursing no-nos that fall outside the spectrum of food?

I caught a bad cold over Christmas and wanted to reach for my trusty Airborne Sore Throat Gummi Lozenges, but wasn't sure they would be safe, given all the herbs and vitamins they contain. I called Olivia's pediatrician, who gave me the green light on these, but then turned to my second opinion, Dr. "Google."

I found this list of herbs that should be avoided while nursing. Alarmingly, parsley and sage apparently dry up your milk supply! The other surprising herb to avoid is basil. I thought it was worth passing this list on, as these herbs are pretty prevalent. The rest of the herbs listed are a little more marginal, but still good to know as we consider which herbal teas to buy and avoid, and which homeopathic remedies we may take for ourselves while nursing.

On another just as important note, the same website, Motherlove, lists bodycare ingredients to avoid while breastfeeding. During my pregnancy, I had a freelance job as a beauty and skincare writer, and I received tons of products to review. I avoided using about 99% of them, due to questionable ingredients. Once you have awareness of the "bad" ingredients, you'll find that they are everywhere, even in some products marketed as all natural or organic. I have to buy my personal care products at Whole Foods, as its the only place I have found products with ingredient integrity. Keep in mind that what you put on your skin is absorbed directly into your bloodstream... so it pays to be cautious with your selections. *Even if you're not nursing, these ingredients should be avoided by everyone.*

The results of choosing better skincare, shampoos, and even toothpaste while be a healthier you! And keep this list handy when it comes to selecting baby's skincare, body wash and shampoo as well!

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