fbpx
St. John’s Wort while breastfeeding

St. John’s Wort while breastfeeding

Are you considering St. John’s Wort {SJW} for postpartum depression?

Even though It’s become the most popular alternative to pharmaceuticals for depression in Europe and the US, it’s so much more than the “depression herb”.

Let’s dive in.

Here’s my promise to you, by the end of this post you’ll understand the risk/benefit ratio and determine if SJW is right for you and the ONE person who should not take St. john’s wort.

St. John’s Wort can be useful for some types of depression, but it also has great benefits for anxiety, grief, melancholia, estrogen clearance, and numbness due to nerve pains and/or damage.

But, Is St. John’s Wort Safe While Breastfeeding?

Here are three References

#1 St. John’s Wort is considered a Level 2/3 by the German Commission E. in Dr. Aviva Romms Book; Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health¹.
  • What does that mean?
    • L2: Safer; Limited studies demonstrated, but no increased risk
    • L3: Moderately Safe; No controlled studies in breastfeeding women or controlled studies demonstrate minimal adverse effects
      • There are limited studies that show no increased risk in the child’s health. Many studies have been flawed due to the poor use of extracts or questionable preparation of the product.

:: In one study, women ingested 300 mg of St. John’s Wort a day and low levels of hyperforin were detected in breastmilk, however, no constitutes of the herbs was detectable in the babies plasma and no adverse effects were observed in either. Source

#2 Lactation and medication expert Thomas Hale & Hilary Rowe authors of Medications and Mothers milk suggest transfer to milk are minimal and it appears to be safe during lactation. ¹
  • However, 1 intact in each group was reported to be colicky, but there was no change in milk production and weight of the infants ¹
#3 The essential guide to herbal safety by Mills & Bones considers St. John’s Wort a Lactation Category CC. Compatible with breastfeeding, but use caution. ²
  • It appears the most common side effects would be colic, drowsiness, and lethargy giving the mother a signal to stop taking the botanical

And, keep in mind.. a small percentage of women have an increase in depression when they take St. John’s Wort.

So, if you notice any adverse effects, stop taking the supplement or tincture.

Are you struggling with Postpartum Depression? Join this FREE challenge to recover faster:

 

St. John’s Wort Dosing

Personally, I prefer to take SJW as a tincture.

I like to test one herb at a time. Then, when I feel comfortable, I like to use a combined tincture of SJW and nervines to soothe the nervous system.

  • Tincture Dosing: 40-60 drops; 3-4x day
  • Capsules: 300- 350mg of standardized extract 3x day {0-3% total hypericin}

St. John’s Wort Postpartum Benefits

Internally, you can take St. John’s Wort as a tincture or supplement for:

  • sciatica
  • as an antiviral to reduce cold symptoms
  • seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • menopause
  • Monthly PMS blues
  • mild/moderate depression
  • ** My favorite reason to take SJW is for detoxification to reduce excessive estrogen levels and to reduce PMS & PMDD

Externally, it has many benefits as well.

When you place the flowers St. John’s Wort in oil, it turns red. Use this oil externally/topically for:

  • spinal/ nerve injuries due to childbirth
  • vulvodynia (vaginal pain)
  • also for first-degree burns, bruises, bites, and puncture wounds

Can you take St. John’s Wort for Postpartum depression?

Who should avoid St. John’s Wort?

SJW is well-known for enhancing liver detoxification, which reduces the blood flow of many medications.

  • Anyone taking the following medications should skip SJW for now
    • Avoid St. John’s Wort if you’re taking warfarin, digoxin, protease inhibitors, organ transplant antirejection drugs, or chemotherapy
    • Use caution with oral contraception
    • Use under a physicians supervision if you’re taking antidepressants
  • In large doses, you may notice photosensitivity to sunlight and want to avoid this
  • It’s also contraindicated during pregnancy, however, safety studies are lacking

In short…

St. john’s wort can be used during breastfeeding when you purchase a standardized product from a reputable company. Standardization of the herb is to guarantee that the consumer is getting a product in which the chemistry is consistent from batch to batch.

  • Look for 300 mg 3x day to decrease postpartum depression and watch for adverse effects like colic, lethargy, and an increase in depression in mom.
  • Keep in mind, it takes a comprehensive approach to overcome postpartum depression and this is just one part of the puzzle.
  • Nervines are also needed to soothe the nervous system after childbirth.

Ashwagandha vs St. John’s Wort

Can’t decide where to begin? Watch this video.

 

P.S. Wondering which herbs are safe while breastfeeding? Grab this template for just $11 to get the best herbal remedies for mastitis, the common cold, thrush, and more!

breastfeeding

 

References:

References

¹ Romm, Aviva; Botanicals Medicine for Women’s Health pg 887 ²Mills & Bones: The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety Hale & Rowe; Medications & Mother’s Milk https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16566628/#:~:text=The%20only%20existing%20report%20on,John’s%20wort. https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/meds/lactation_risk_cat/https://www.infantrisk.com/content/drug-entry-human-milk
What every mom ought to know about postpartum depression

What every mom ought to know about postpartum depression

Wondering if you have postpartum depression?

Watch these 5 videos, then grab your freebie below; The Postpartum Depression Relief Roadmap to recover from pregnancy faster.

#1 Is it just the blues?

Postpartum Depression vs. The Baby Blues

#2 Look for these signs..

9

#3 Blue or Depression, Start with these herbs

Alternatives to Medications for Postpartum Depression

#4

How to heal Postpartum Depression Naturally

5

#5 What is EMDR and How can it help PPA & PPD

 

 

Warning! 5 Signs you have postpartum depression

Warning! 5 Signs you have postpartum depression

Wondering if you’re experiencing postpartum depression?

In this post and video, we’ll discuss the five signs that may show you may have Postpartum Depression, why this happens, and then the 5 things to check before taking anxiety medications.

What are the signs of Postpartum Depression?

  1. It typically begins 2-3 weeks after childbirth and lasts up to a year or longer
  2. There is a feeling of hopelessness
  3. no empathy or punctuations of happiness
  4. you may have anger, insomnia, and anxiety
  5. One key point, you may have suicidal thoughts for yourself or your child. **If you’re having these, please call the suicidal hotline.

Postpartum Depression Quiz

Take this FREE test to see the severity of your depression

Watch this video to listen in on the 5 signs of Postpartum Depression

What do you check before taking medication?

Ask your doctor to check these 5 things first

Get checked for:

  1. Iron deficiency anemia
  2. Vitamin D levels
  3. Vitamin Bs especially B12
  4. Thyroid levels; you can go from hyperthyroid to hypothyroid in a matter of months
  5. and Gut inflammation!

 

 

Is it Postpartum Depression or The Baby Blues?

Watch this video as I describe my experience and how to decide if you need to reach out for help.

If you’re struggling, know there is hope. Even if you need medication for a bit, start with vitamins, minerals, a good diet, and nourishing self-care techniques to begin your healing.

xoxo

Tara

 

Postpartum anxiety symptoms & treatment

Postpartum anxiety symptoms & treatment

After I had twins, there was a moment I remember. I was holding one of them, looking out the window and thinking; “I will never get to leave this house if I continue to breastfeed both of them.”

Soon thereafter, I stopped breastfeeding. But, that’s when insomnia kicked in. Then depression and anxiety.

Are you wondering if you have postpartum anxiety?

Here are 10 symptoms moms say they have when struggling with postpartum anxiety.

10 Postpartum Anxiety Symptoms

  • insomnia
  • heart palpitations
  • dizziness, light head
  • stomach issues
  • tight chest
  • shortness of breath
  • headache
  • sweating
  • can’t focus
  • crying spells

Can you relate? Grab this freebie; The 9 step checklist to discover why you’re experiencing this and what do do about it; even if you’re breastfeeding.

Click here to subscribe So, why does this happen and what can you do about it? That’s what we’re talking about today.

Why does postpartum anxiety happen? Here are 8 reasons..

    • insomnia; you haven’t slept in a while
  • postpartum adrenal fatigue
  • depleted vitamins and minerals
  • trauma; from birth or before and you’ve been triggered
  • money concerns
  • lack of help and/or support
  • you’re feeling alone
  • your thyroid is off

 

What can you do about it? Watch this video to learn how to soothe anxiety naturally. Plus, how to stop a panic attack fast

Ready to learn more? Grab this freebie to get started

xo Tara

Click here to subscribe

 

Intrusive thoughts?- 13 Writing prompts for postpartum depression

Intrusive thoughts?- 13 Writing prompts for postpartum depression

What if you could break through your intrusive thoughts with writing?

When we write down our thoughts… we release our greatest hopes and dreams to the universe.

Think about this for a moment…

  • Are you wanting to say or doing something that you are not currently doing?
  • Are you craving more support, more time, more nourishment?
  • Do you feel like you’re being held back from your dreams?

ppd

The transition into motherhood is not easy. This is just one step that can help you move into motherhood with grace.

I know it will take more than writing to overcome postpartum depression and intrusive thoughts, but when I couldn’t afford a therapist and was afraid of what they would say. I wrote.

And wrote until I found the answers I was seeking.

So I hope these questions reveal something new to you.

Light a candle, grab a cup of tea, take out a notebook, and write down the answers to these questions.


Here are 13 writing prompts I’ve used over the years to overcome depression and anxiety.

#1 Write your birth story

  • Write it in complete detail. All that you loved, all that you hated, and all that you are thankful for.
  • 👉Action step: Share your story online. Other momma’s need to hear what you’ve been through.

#2 Start with the end in mind

  • What is it that you want to do with this one and only life you have?
  • Are you doing it? What is holding you back?
  • Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a circle. Write where you want to be when you are 80 years old. Then write down the steps to get there.
  • 👉Action step: Take one step today to fulfill your life dream. Even if it’s small. Begin today.

#3 What’s important to you?

  • Take a blank sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle.
  • List 10 things that make you happy on the left side of the paper. Then list 10 things you’ll say a “no thank you” to on the right side of the paper.

Want to know how I overcame postpartum depression naturally? Start your FREE challenge today!

 

#4 How can you fill your cup up?

You cannot take care of everyone else if you are depleted. How can you fill your cup up today? It doesn’t have to cost money or take a lot of time. Here are some things I do.

  • 10-minute Youtube meditations
  • Baths with magnesium salt and essential oils
  • Write a gratitude list – who are you thankful for?
  • Get my nails done
  • Go for a hike
  • Exercise
  • Make a cup of stinging nettle tea 🍵

Fear is love waiting to exhale…

#5 What are you afraid of doing?

  • One of my biggest fears was closing my Pilates studio. What would people think? Where would they go? I was more worried about my clients than I was about my own mental health.
  • A book that helped me the most was called “Necessary Endings.”
  • “Where do you want to be a year from now? Will an ending be necessary to bring that about?”

  • If what you’re doing has no hope of getting you what you want, why are doing it?
  • 👉Action step: So, I ask you.. what are you afraid of doing? Write it down.

#6 Complete these sentences…

  • My favorite place to sit as a child…
  • If I wasn’t this old I would…
  • If I had more time I would…
  • If I wasn’t afraid I would..
  • My favorite childhood game was…
  • If I didn’t sound crazy, I would..

#7 When were you happy?

  • Write about a time when you were very happy. Where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing?

#8 What was the most traumatic event in your life?

  • Write about any trauma in your life.
  • Then.. write it again as though it was a good thing. As though, you learned something from it or it made you the person you are today.

When you laugh, the world laughs with you, but when you cry, you cry alone. – A happy pocketful of money

Decide right now to face everything anew. Your thoughts, become your words and they become your actions. #ppd Click To Tweet

#9 Your thoughts

  • Decide right now to face everything anew. Your thoughts, become your words and they become your actions.
  • What negative thoughts are you saying to yourself? Write them down. Gently, gradually release them.
  • 👉 Action step: Turn those thoughts into a positive words.

What comes out of your mouth, comes into your life. – You are a badass at making money.

#10 What do you really want?

If money wasn’t an issue. If your life was different. What would you really want? What are you craving? Write these down…

  • The perfect partner
  • The perfect health
  • Your goals in life
  • Your education
  • How much money do you want to make
  • What kind of relationships do you want

#11 What are you grateful for?

  • Have you ever noticed how much love you have around you? How blessed you are?
  • 👉Action step: Write down 5 things you are grateful for today.

#12 How do you play?

  • Have you noticed as we get older, we stop playing? We start “adulting”? What can you do today to be more playful? To have more fun?

#13 Fall in love with yourself…

  • What are you holding against yourself? What do you say about your body every day?
  • 👉Action step: Write down 20 things you love about yourself. Don’t hold back. List them. Love them. Repeat them often. 💕

I’d love to know what you uncovered.

Leave a note below and share it with us.

Tara

P.S. Ready to learn more? Grab this freebie to get started

 

 

 

Obsessed with natural remedies, Tara Gregorio is a Certified Women’s Herbal Educator located in Cold Spring, NY. She loves helping women reduce their medications with botanicals. Her favorite herbal recipes can be found on Pinterest and Instagram. https://taragregorio.com/
My title