We’ve all heard it said before — breast is best. As the ideal nutritional source for babies up to two years of age, breastfeeding offers unrivaled benefits for a growing infant’s health. The only problem? Mothers trade off sleep, comfort, and physical and mental well-being to be able to provide their babies with this vital nutrition.
So it comes as no surprise that many mothers consider taking kratom while breastfeeding in order to combat the challenging demands on their bodies. But the question stands — is it safe to use kratom while breastfeeding?
Much of the apprehension that people have when approaching kratom stems from a lack of understanding as to what it really is. Mitragyna speciosa, or simply kratom, is a tropical evergreen plant that mainly grows throughout Southeast Asia.
Long used in folk medicine, the herb finds its purpose as a suitable remedy against physical discomfort. In areas where the plant grows endemic, people pluck and chew fresh leaves to soothe tired, aching bodies after long days at work.
The first record of kratom being brought to the United States for commercial sale dates back to 2010. Today, the billion-dollar industry is one of the biggest built around an agricultural commodity, second only to hemp.
Just for the record, not everyone gets the same experience out of a kratom dose. People have different tolerances and thresholds. So it’s possible for users to develop a unique permutation of effects even if they take the exact same kratom product.
Nevertheless, it seems kratom users often experience the same range of effects after a dose, just that the combinations vary. So some of the effects you can expect from kratom include:
How does kratom do this? Well, according to studies, kratom may interact with opioid receptors in the brain, which explains why its effects closely resemble those of opioids.
In fact, some advocates even assert that kratom might be the solution to opioid addiction, claiming that many have overcome their dependence by substituting it with kratom. However formal studies exploring these claims remain insufficient to draw any solid conclusions.
Although numerous enthusiasts will peddle kratom as a miracle herb, the stuff isn’t without side effects. Most often, these negative reactions come as the result of dose miscalculations or of poor product quality.
However, there are some people who are simply uniquely sensitive to the alkaloids in kratom, making their bodies particularly reactive to the substance. Because of this, some users may develop uncomfortable side effects that take away from the benefits of the herb.
Some side effects of kratom include:
Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include all of the possible side effects you could develop. It’s also important to remember that people can develop any combination of these side effects, depending on their body’s unique response to kratom and its chemistry.
The breastfeeding season can feel particularly challenging and demanding for new mothers. Physically, mentally, and emotionally strenuous, the act of providing a child its primary source of nutrition for the foreseeable future can weigh heavily on the mother. This explains why many of them feel the need for external support.
As a natural remedy, kratom has often found itself in the crosshairs of mothers in need of comfort and relief. And while the studies supporting kratom’s benefits for breastfeeding mothers remain insufficient, anecdotal evidence bolsters the idea that the stuff can be advantageous.
Statistics reveal that over 75% of breastfeeding mothers report feeling significant pain as a result of breastfeeding. Sore teats, painful, engorged breasts, and tired, hurting backs and necks can seriously weigh down on a mother’s sense of well-being.
Plus, because these pains persist for months or years (depending on how long the mother decides to breastfeed), it’s possible for the pain to have serious effects on her mental and emotional health as well.
Kratom offers near-instant relief against physical discomfort, working powerfully to soothe tiredness, soreness, and aches that often plague the breastfeeding mother’s body.
We’ve all heard breastfeeding mothers explain their struggles with sleep. After birth, babies need to feed at least once every 2-3 hours, and the tight and often unforgiving breastfeeding schedules can be majorly demanding on mothers.
According to studies, these strange, unhealthy sleeping patterns may contribute to post-partum blues and depression. By supporting a mother’s sleep with kratom, she may improve the quality of the rest she has when presented with an opportunity to sleep.
Kratom works as strong sleep support. At higher doses, the herb allows users to enter REM sleep more rapidly, and may even improve the quality of sleep so that users feel more refreshed and rested even after short bouts of sleep.
Hormonal changes that happen after giving birth can change a mother’s psyche. According to statistics, 70% of new mothers can develop post-partum blues, and of that number, 20% progress into post-partum depression.
These serious mood disorders can challenge a mother’s resolve, and may negatively impact both her health and her baby’s. Resolving mood issues before they complicate can help mitigate the risks associated with these conditions.
As a mood enhancer, kratom can relieve stress and clear the mind of apprehension, worry, and negative, unpleasant thoughts. This in turn helps users feel lighter, happier, and carefree, allowing an uplifted mood to prevail for the duration of the herb’s effects.
There aren’t enough studies in circulation to say whether using kratom while breastfeeding is 100% safe. When it comes right down to it, mothers need to weigh the possible dangers against the benefits and assess whether kratom use is right for them or not.
The American Kratom Association — or simply the AKA — hopes to regulate the kratom industry to make lawmakers feel safer in extending the freedoms that kratom users and vendors are allowed. The consumer-led initiative has been around for years, recognized as the kratom market’s regulatory body.
Presently, the AKA uses its Good Manufacturing Practices program to ensure that vendors abide by strict manufacturing protocol that guarantees a safe product. Unfortunately, not all kratom businesses see the importance of AKA-GMP compliance.
What’s even more problematic is that AKA-GMP compliance isn’t necessarily a requirement for businesses intending to operate as kratom vendors. That means breastfeeding mothers may end up buying products that don’t pass through quality assurance standards that eliminate the risk of contamination.
For that reason, breastfeeding mothers are strongly advised to practice particular caution when choosing a kratom product to use for their breastfeeding-associated discomforts. Selecting AKA-GMP-certified products can help reduce the possible risks of unregulated kratom.
Just to be on the safe side, experts do not recommend the use of kratom for breastfeeding mothers simply because there isn’t sufficient research to back up its safety and benefits. Plus, there are many other remedies and alternatives available that can help breastfeeding mothers achieve relief minus the possible risks.
But if you feel that you can benefit from the use of kratom during your breastfeeding journey, make sure to follow these tips:
Just to be clear — we don’t know for sure just how safe kratom can be for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. But when it comes down to it, you probably know what’s best for you and your little breast-latching infant.
If you decide to use kratom with the affirmation of your physician, make sure to buy quality products, measure out proper doses, and take weekly breaks from your intake schedule to mitigate the risks while reaping the benefits of the powerful herb.