Melatonin is a godsend for anyone who has trouble sleeping. The hormone, which is naturally found in the body but can also be taken as a supplement, helps control your sleeping cycles and sounds like something that would be ideal for new moms who aren't finding much sleep with a baby around. However, we wondered if it was safe to take melatonin while breastfeeding.
According to Iffath Hoskins, MD, and clinical associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center, there is no known medical contraindication to its use while breastfeeding. "In general, 1 percent or less of any substance passes to baby in breast milk," she told POPSUGAR Moms.
However, the one concern with taking melatonin while breastfeeding is the fact that it can make you drowsy, when it's important to be alert while caring for your child. Dr. Hoskins notes that a worst-case scenario would be if a mom fell asleep while holding the baby to feed or when the baby is right beside her, putting baby in danger.
If you're a new mom who is breastfeeding and you do feel like you are in need of some help getting better sleep, Dr. Hoskins recommends finding soothing alternatives that will relax you without necessarily making you immediately drowsy. "Some simple alternatives include chamomile tea, any warm liquid, e.g. milk, a warm bath, soothing music, or other soothing sounds, etc." she said.
She recommends giving those options a try up to two to three times a day, and if you're still feeling like nothing is working quite right, you should consult your doctor.