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GABA and breastfeeding

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  • GABA and breastfeeding

    My baby is 8 weeks old and gaining well. She has been fully breastfed with no supplements since birth. Throughout the pregnancy, I struggled to get PTSD with depression and anxiety, plus insomnia, under control. I worked with a psychiatrist over several months. His philosophy is that moms need to feel good, so unless a med is obviously causing issues with the infant, then it is better for mom to take them. (I am slightly more conservative than that, though!)

    Sam-e, fish oil, and high dose methylfolate are keeping the depression manageable during the day. At night, I have been taking an herbal blend with valerian and passionflower, 100 mg progesterone, 25 mg vistaril, and 500 mg GABA. If I leave out any of these 4 components, I don't sleep and experience anxiety and hypervigilance all night.

    Baby is happy and strong, meeting milestones, etc. However, she does sleep more than my other babies. She sleeps all night, 7-9 hours, then takes many naps. Is sleepiness alone a problem if baby is gaining and otherwise healthy? There isn't any research on GABA, right? That is the component I am worried about.

    Thanks so much!

  • #2
    momomom,

    We do not recommend most herbal products. There is no data available on how much transfers into breast milk or the effects on the infant. These products are not regulated by the FDA, they could have possible cross contamination, heavy metal content and some can be quite dangerous.

    The Valerian root is rated an L4-no data-possibly hazardous.
    "Valerian root is most commonly used as a sedative/hypnotic. The toxicity of valerian root appears to be low, with only minor side effects reported. However, the valepotriates, an important chemical group present in the root of this plant, have been found to be cytotoxic, with alkylating activity similar to other nitrogen mustard-like anticancer agents. Should this prove to be so in vivo, it may preclude the use of this product in humans. No data are available on the transfer of valerian root compounds into human milk. However, the use of sedatives in breastfeeding mothers is generally discouraged, due to a possible increased risk of SIDS." (Medications and Mothers' Milk database, Dr Thomas Hale PhD).

    No data on GABA.
    "Pregnancy and Lactation: Insufficient reliable information available; avoid using." (Natural Medicines database).

    Sorry but we are unable to advise on the safety of these products.

    Sandra Lovato R.N.
    InfantRisk Center

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