Goldenseal and Breastfeeding

At this time, not much is known about breastfeeding while taking goldenseal. It is known that the supplement contains berberine, a compound that passes through breast milk. Newborns exposed to it appear to be at a higher risk for developing brain damage due to severe jaundice. Due to this potential risk, before taking the supplement, breastfeeding women should first consult their healthcare providers.

Is Goldenseal Safe While Breastfeeding?

In general, goldenseal is not considered to be safe for use while breastfeeding. Therefore, do not take this supplement while breastfeeding without first checking with your healthcare provider.
Goldenseal contains berberine, a compound that passes through breast milk. Additionally, newborns exposed to goldenseal appear to have a higher risk for kernicterus (brain damage due to severe jaundice).
Breastfeeding often limits the prescription and non-prescription drugs that are available for a woman to take. As a result, women often seek safe alternatives, sometimes assuming that herbal supplements are always safe. This is simply not the case. Herbal supplements can be marketed in the United States without any evidence that they are safe (or even effective) for anyone, including breastfeeding women. It should never be assumed that natural products are automatically safe for breastfeeding women.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding and goldenseal. 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, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision that is right for you.
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