Are you a lactating mommy? Do you prefer herbal teas? But is drinking herbal tea like peppermint tea safe for your breastfeeding baby? Well, to know more about the safety aspects of peppermint tea while breastfeeding, read the post below! Because here, MomJunction talks about the safety aspects of drinking peppermint tea for nursing moms.
What Is Peppermint?
Peppermint is a soothing herb best known for treating gum pain, stomach problems and digestive problems. Several commercial products like toothpaste, chewing gum and tea contain peppermint. The calming and numbing effect of peppermint treats headaches, menstrual cramps, anxiety, nausea, diarrhea, skin irritation, and flatulence. Peppermint is also used as an active ingredient in chest rubs and vaporizers. The active ingredient of Peppermint, Menthol and methyl salicylate, possess antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Researchers also state that peppermint cures indigestion and IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (1).
Can You Drink Peppermint Tea While Breastfeeding?
When you are a nursing mother, it is advisable to avoid the intake of peppermint tea unless your doctor assures you about the safety of the tea. Due to the soothing effect of menthol, peppermint tea cures stomach problems, skin acne, sore throat and the common cold.
But while you are nursing, remember to sip a smaller amount of the herbal tea to stay safe from the potential side effects. Peppermint tea has emmenagogic effects, which can stimulate uterine blood flow. Doctors recommend avoiding excess consumption of peppermint tea while nursing, as it reduces the breast milk supply. Researchers conclude that the methanol present in peppermint oil can pass into your breast milk and cause diarrhea or skin irritation to your feeding baby.
[ Read: Herbal Tea While Breastfeeding ]
Benefits Of Peppermint Tea While Breastfeeding:
Here are some positive attributes of peppermint tea while breastfeeding:
1, Reduces Nipple Soreness:
- With the onset of lactation (for first-time mothers), your nipples often become swollen, and you may experience severe pain while feeding your newborn baby.
- You can dampen a cotton dab in lukewarm peppermint tea and apply it to your nipples. It helps you get relief from pain and inflammation.
- The antibacterial property of peppermint increases your tissue flexibility and helps you prevent nipple pain and soreness.
[ Read: Is Green Tea Safe While Breastfeeding ]
2. Relieves Pain:
- Doctors may advise you to drink a few sips of peppermint tea to eliminate the pain experienced after a C-section.
- When you use peppermint tea as a pain reliever, it is best to limit your intake to only one or two cups a day.
- Peppermint tea contains a small amount of methanol, so consuming only a few cups would not effect in your breast milk supply.
3. Stress Relief:
- Peppermint tea is an excellent energy booster and helps you overcome stress and anxiety while you are breastfeeding.
- The methanol present in the herbal tea serves as a muscle relaxant and offer tremendous relief from stress.
- Drinking peppermint tea before going to bed helps you have a restful sleep.
4. Sinus Relief:
- The soothing effect of methanol clears sinus congestion and cures a sore throat.
- Peppermint tea, also regarded as a natural decongestant, cures common cough and cold.
5. Weight Loss:
- After childbirth, most nursing mothers seem to gain unwanted body weight, especially after the c-section surgery.
- With an intake of peppermint tea, you can get rid of your unwanted pounds. The herbal tea serves as an appetite suppressant and keeps you full for longer time span.
- Drinking a perfect blend of green tea and peppermint tea can regulate your metabolic rate and makes it easier for your body to shed the extra pounds.
6. Cures Stomach Problems:
- Peppermint tea cures several stomach ailments like bloating and gas.
- Having a cup of peppermint tea helps you overcome gastrointestinal problems and makes it easier for you to digest foods (2).
[ Read: Chamomile Tea During Breastfeeding ]
Side Effects Of Peppermint Tea While Breastfeeding:
Lactating mothers should remain alert of the following side-effects of peppermint tea while breastfeeding:
1. Reduces Breast Milk Supply:
- Drinking excess amount of peppermint tea reduces the breast milk supply.
- As a lactating mother, when you experience an oversupply of breast milk or weaning, the doctor may advise you to consume a small quantity of peppermint tea.
- The FDA does not oversee the production of peppermint tea or any other herbal tea sold in the market. The tea can contain harmful contaminants, including pesticides.
- It is often advisable to buy herbal tea from a reputable manufacturer to overcome the risk of contamination.
3. Acid Reflux:
- If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux, drinking peppermint tea can complicate your health condition.
- The soothing herb relaxes the valve that separates your stomach from the esophagus.
- It triggers the backflow of the stomach acid into your esophagus, and your condition gets worse.
4. Reduction In Blood Sugar Level:
- One of the major side effects of drinking peppermint tea in excess quantity is that it reduces the blood sugar level suddenly.
- So, if you are diabetic or high-pressure patient, it is better to eliminate peppermint tea from your diet.
5. Causes Allergies:
- Some people seem to be allergic to methanol. Some of the typical signs of allergy include tremors, headache, mouth soreness, and shaky feet.
6. Drug Interactions:
- Researchers conclude that peppermint tea interferes with several prescribed medications.
- You should never intake peppermint tea, when you already consume drugs for blood pressure, stomach acid, diabetes, and cyclosporine.
- If you are allergic to menthol or suffering from chronic asthma, it is best to stay away from peppermint tea/oil.
- An overdose of peppermint tea leads to several adverse effects including muscle pain, tremors, diarrhea, drowsiness, and an abnormal heart rate.
[ Read: Ginger Tea While Breastfeeding ]
A Word Of Caution:
- Avoid consuming peppermint tea in excess quantities while breastfeeding, as it hampers breast milk production.
- Before taking peppermint tea or supplements, consult with the medical consultant.
- Breastfeeding mothers often consume peppermint tea when they want to wean or dry up their milk supply.
- A good tea to drink during the lactation phase is Rooibos tea. It is a caffeine free tea, and also low in tannins to impose no side effects on both mother and her baby.
Did you drink peppermint tea while breastfeeding your baby? Did you experience any of the side effects? Share your experiences about peppermint tea with other mommies here!
Comment in the box below!
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