Senna During Breastfeeding – Its Safety And Health Benefits

Senna is known to be an FDA-approved over-the-counter laxativeiXA substance that encourages bowel movement.. But is it safe to consume senna while breastfeeding? When nursing your newborn baby, you should monitor your intake of food or medicines as it can directly affect your baby. Consulting your doctor is important before you start anything new. Senna is mostly prescribed as a natural remedy for constipation. Read on to know more about senna, its usage, effects, and probable side effects of long-term use.

What Is Senna?

Senna is a laxative derived from the leaves and seeds of the senna herb and is a popular medicinal plant in traditional and alternative medicine. It is an FDA-approved, non-prescription laxative (available over-the-counter) that is used to treat constipation and help clear the bowels before a colonoscopyiXA procedure where the doctor uses a scope to examine the intestines and rectum.. It has been found that senna seeds are gentler than senna leaves, which makes the use of senna seeds for laxative purposes desirable and has no harmful effects on the liver, digestive system, or other parts of the body.

If you are suffering from abdominal cramps, diarrhea, stomach upset, or other gastrointestinal tract issues, you should not take senna supplements without consulting a medical practitioner. This is because the senna laxative is a stimulantiXA medication that boosts your breathing rate, heart rate, and brain function. that irritates the inner lining of the bowel. If a patient is already suffering from loose bowel movements before taking senna, it can further aggravate the situation.

What Is Senna

In the case of pregnant women or nursing mothers, they must consult with their physicians before taking any herbal medicines, or herbal supplements with senna as the main constituent.Senna should only be taken in a limited dose, and it is meant to only be used as a short-term treatment for constipation (1).

Senna During Breastfeeding

Taking senna while breastfeeding has been considered controversial in the past. The American Academy of Pediatrics has classified senna as usually compatible with breastfeeding, and the WHO states that senna is safe during breastfeeding. However, it can still be an issue of concern for lactating women’s health and wellness (2).

Since constipation and irregular bowel movements are common ailments during pregnancy and postpartum recovery, the use of senna during this period and while breastfeeding has been supported by medical organizations. It’s very important that the recommended dosage of senna in maternal nutrition should never be exceeded (3).

Effects Of Senna While Breastfeeding

There is no harm in taking senna for the short term while nursing

Recent studies have revealed that there is no harm in taking senna for the short term while nursing. The constituents and properties of the laxative as a stool softener do not cross into breast milk produced, and thus it does not cause issues such as diarrhea to babies whose mothers take senna herbal or dietary supplements.

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Although other research shows that trace amounts of senna may cross into breast milk, it does not seem to cause any problem for nursing babies. If mothers use the laxative always within recommended amounts, senna should not change the frequency or consistency of infants’ stools (3).

Long Term Use Of Senna

The prolonged intake of senna can be detrimental to maternal health. If consumed for a long time or in high doses, senna can severely damage your liver, affect colon health, lead to laxative dependence, and irritate the stomach lining.It is always preferred that the dosage for this laxative be given in small, short-term, and controlled amounts to prevent any side effects or long-term problems. If a mother taking senna notices symptoms of loose stools or diarrhea, the consumption of the senna laxative should be immediately discontinued (4).

Even though there is no concrete evidence of senna causing diarrhea in nursing infants, it is always desirable that the mothers consume the laxative in moderation and keep an eye on the infant’s health.

Senna is a laxative derived from seeds and leaves of the senna herb and helps relieve constipation. Studies have not shown any side effects, such as diarrhea, in breastfed babies when the mother consumes the herb in moderation. Although it is considered safe for lactating mothers, excess amounts may cause side effects. Excess consumption of Senna while breastfeeding may cause it to reach breast milk. Long-term use of senna may lead to complications such as liver damage, irritation of the stomach lining, and dependence. Always seek advice from your doctor before taking any laxatives and consult about safer home remedies.

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Key Pointers

  • Senna is an FDA-approved, non-prescription laxative derived from the leaves and seeds of the senna herb that is used to treat constipation.
  • Senna is usually compatible with breastfeeding, and there is no harm in taking senna for the short term while nursing.
  • However, prolonged intake of senna can be detrimental to the health of mothers causing liver damage, laxative dependence, and irritation of the lining of the stomach.

Article written by Baby Plumbing

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