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 parents 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, a clinical 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.
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 parent fell asleep while holding the baby to feed or when the baby is right beside them, putting baby in danger.
If you're a new parent 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.
Dr. Hoskins 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.