Since kratom has gained massive fame in the US in the last decade, it is 100% possible that you must have heard that it is chock-full of relieving, boosting, and calming benefits. Ever since the usage of kratom has increased, manufacturers have come up with more innovative kratom products like gummies, tinctures, Kratom powders, Kratom capsules, soaps, and extracts.
However, this natural botanical remedy for a number of conditions sounds appealing for now, but is kratom safe to use for breastfeeding mothers? This question remains an unresolved mystery for all the breastfeeding mommies who wish to continue using kratom during lactation.
In this piece, we will have a deep dive into this question – Is it safe to use kratom while you are breastfeeding? From its safety to user experiences, and alternative options, you gotta read and get the full low down.
So let us get straight into it without further ado!
Understanding Kratom and why breastfeeding mothers use it?
Kratom is a famous Southeast Asian herb, immensely used for recreational purposes for years by the natives of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and other regions of Southeast Asia. M.Speciosa is particularly used for discomfort management, uneasiness relief, energy boost, positive mood, stress release, enhanced focus, and improved productivity.
Postpartum recovery is physically draining and painful, which further adds to exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and postpartum anxiety. So for healing from the challenges that childbirth brings along, kratom appears to be the best solution for those who want to keep themselves at bay from over-the-counter medications.
Women, who have been using kratom before they got pregnant, continue its use during pregnancy and even after they have delivered the child. Some women exclusively use it to fight the evils like depression and anxiety. You may be surprised to know but according to user reviews, many women used kratom to manage their mood-related issues, especially as a side effect of Sheehan’s syndrome. You see, they all have got their own reasons, but the question remains unresolved – is it safe for breastfeeding moms to use kratom?
Is it safe for a breastfeeding mother to use kratom?
If we have a sneak peek into the user reviews, we will eventually believe that the situation varies from person to person. For one breastfeeding mother, the use of kratom ended up to be entirely favorable and was a source of immense relief, but for another mother, it turned out to be toxic for the baby. So if we talk about the safe use of kratom during breastfeeding, the answer won’t be a 100% YES! The whole experience would hugely depend upon the following factors:
1) What strain are you using?
2) How many grams of kratom are you taking?
3) Whether the quality of your product is up to the mark?
4) What level of tolerance do you have?
5) Is it passed on to the baby during breastfeeding and exactly how much?
6) After how long did you breastfeed after taking your kratom dose?
Since we did not find a single study explaining the safety of maternal consumption of kratom and its effects on breastfeeding children, we cannot be sure whether it would be a wise idea to add it to your health regime while breastfeeding.
Do kratom alkaloids pass on into breast milk?
Kratom contains 40+ alkaloids that initiate health-boosting effects when they bind with the mu-opioid receptors in the brain. The two most potent kratom alkaloids, Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy-mitragynine are found in larger quantities in kratom as compared to the other alkaloids. Mothers wonder whether these two can pass on into the breast milk and eventually transfer into the baby. Again, there is not any solid answer to it since no studies are being done explaining this phenomenon. However, common sense says that some degree of these alkaloids would definitely make their way to breast milk.
Is it possible that a breastfeeding child experiences dependence on kratom?
Kratom can cause tolerance if taken in higher doses for a prolonged time, and one may experience withdrawal symptoms too. So if an infant has been exposed to higher doses of kratom in the mother’s womb, he would likely develop dependence too. According to Dr. Whitney Eldrige in her recent interview, one cannot be sure whether the baby would develop tolerance, and it does not depend upon the dose of the mother. In one of her articles, she discussed NAS – Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome among babies whose mothers had been taking kratom during pregnancy. This syndrome includes various conditions happening as a result of withdrawal from certain mind-altering medications, which were taken by the mother.
So, we can expect that a breastfeeding child may also experience similar symptoms if he/she is consuming considerable doses of kratom through breast milk.
What do users at Reddit recommend about using kratom while breastfeeding?
If you explore Reddit, you would come across mixed user reviews regarding the use of kratom during breastfeeding. Some would warn you, while others would call it magic that made their postpartum a bit easier to pass.
One of the most important user reviews, I must say, should be considered in detail in this piece. It is a first-hand experience for a new mother.
Here’s how the post goes:
“My wife is a daily kratom user for chronic pain and she took it daily throughout her entire pregnancy (albeit at a reduced dosage) and she continues to take it daily while breastfeeding our daughter which has been the case for almost 2 years now.
Our daughter was born completely healthy and from what I’ve read and experienced personally, kratom either does not cross into the breast milk supply or, if it does, it’s in such minute amounts that it’s completely trivial.
Kratom may have some similarities to opiates in its mechanism, but the way your body processes and metabolizes it is entirely different.
Unless you are taking obscenely high amounts of kratom, I would imagine that an infant would be better off with a kratom-using mother than one who is miserable and in pain. Ultimately, due to the lack of research on the matter, it’s a decision that you have to weigh the odds of on your own. Unless my wife and I are just lucky (which I doubt), it worked out perfectly fine for us.
Funnily enough, the day we took our daughter home, my wife was handed a script for Percocet on the way out even though the doctor knew she’d be breastfeeding. She took 5 mg one time and I noticed that my daughter exhibited clear sedation and possible respiratory depression. Babies sleep a lot, especially when breastfeeding, and maybe I was just being paranoid but that was the point where I said absolutely no more Percocet. Nothing like that ever happened again, not on kratom, not ever.”
So according to this user review, the use of kratom during breastfeeding did not affect the child, however, we cannot completely rely on it, and must consult professional health care providers before planning to use it.
What can lead to the risk factors of using kratom while lactating?
Since we can expect that kratom alkaloids can transfer into your child through breastmilk, it is essential to consider the potential reasons that can lead to risk factors.
1) Using higher doses of kratom (more than 5 grams).
2) Taking extremely potent kratom strains.
3) Use kratom a while before breastfeeding your child.
4) Taking kratom more often and skipping the break days.
How can breastfeeding mothers safely use kratom?
According to the user reviews of lactating mothers that use kratom, one can get their breast milk tested for the presence of kratom alkaloids. If the test does not show a reasonable amount of kratom alkaloids you may consult your doctor and continue using the botanical supplement.
Another user suggests using lower doses of kratom like 2-3 grams and taking days off during the week so that there remains an extremely negligible amount of kratom in your body.
One user suggested pumping the breast milk first, and later taking your dose. Later, you should breastfeed your child after a good gap of 20 hours.
Consulting the Health Care practitioner for lactating mothers before using kratom – Is it important?
Kratom’s use for breastfeeding mothers is not recommended by AKA (American Kratom Association), as there is no scientific evidence available to prove its safe use. Therefore, it is essential to discuss your case with a professional doctor in this field to prioritize your and your baby’s health.
The Bottom Line
Kratom’s use by breastfeeding mothers is becoming more common in the US, however, its safety is still under question. Since we do not have any scientific evidence available, one cannot recommend using kratom during lactation. However, we mind numerous positive user reviews on Reddit, where mothers explain how this herbal supplement helped them manage the dark period of postpartum, including painful back, stress, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and low energy levels along with baby blues. It is highly recommended to discuss with your doctor first, and come up with a solution that would benefit you and your baby.