Due to the unknown risks of red clover, breastfeeding women should typically avoid using this herbal supplement. Although there is almost nothing known about the safety of using red clover while breastfeeding, it is thought that this herb may affect the quantity and quality of breast milk, or cause problems in an infant.
Red Clover and Breastfeeding: Is It Safe?
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is an herbal supplement typically used for natural menopause relief, although it is claimed to be beneficial for other purposes as well. At this time, it is not known if red clover is safe for use in breastfeeding women. Until more information is available, it is probably a good idea to avoid red clover if you are breastfeeding a child.
Red clover may affect hormones, and this may affect the quantity and quality of breast milk or cause problems in an infant. Almost nothing is known about the safety of using red clover while breastfeeding. Because the risks are entirely unknown, it is usually recommended that women avoid using this herb while breastfeeding.
Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Red Clover and Breastfeeding
You should talk with your healthcare provider about red clover and breastfeeding. 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 about red clover and breastfeeding in your particular situation. However, most healthcare providers recommend avoiding red clover while breastfeeding.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed January 9, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: red clover (June 2006). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/redclover/. Accessed January 9, 2008.
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