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Thread: Can I take Melatonin while breastfeeding

  1. #1
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    Default Can I take Melatonin while breastfeeding

    Does anyone know? My pharmisist and midwife weren't sure. I've been taking .5mg of Ambien for the last four months, since finding out about Lydia Ann's diagnosis. Now that she is here and living (praise God!) I'd like to try and go off of the ambien, however I tried last night and my mind just races with all of the unknowns with lydia's health, etc. etc. etc. So a friend of mine said that melotonin (sp?) has helped her. Does anyone know if I can take it while breastfeeding? Which is the better choice .5mg of ambien or melatonin?
    : breastfeeding mamma to our second daughter Gwendolyn Rose born 3/26/10 and to my 31 month old sweetie Alayna.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    I think it's generally discouraged for breastfeeding moms. Would Benadryl help? I take 50 mg at night when I have trouble sleeping (which is nearly every night at times). It doesn't help with racing thoughts, but it does make me very, very sleepy.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    Sominex was recommended by my pharm. over melatonin, although both make their way into breastmilk so neither is truly safe. Kellymom.com lists Ambien as a level 3 but the only "approved" sleep aid, so maybe weaning off of it by only using when absolutely necessary would be an option?

    It may not help with racing thoughts, but try to get yourself a steady bedtime routine (I know, so not easy right now). But even if it is only a ten minute routine, it will help stimulate your body's own melatonin and get you to sleep faster. For example, ten minutes before bed, put pjs on, drink a cup of warm milk/tea, wash face, brush teeth, listen to same soothing song, etc. But do the exact same things in the exact same order and soon your body will learn that it is bedtime even if your brain wants to keep processing everything that you are dealing with right now. Up to 45 minutes/an hour of the same order of things is the most effective way to do it, but that may be totally unrealistic right now.

    GL and let us know what you find. I haven't found much information on sleep aids anywhere, so like the PP I tend to use other approved meds with the side effect of sleepiness.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    I would give www.infantrisk.com a call on Monday to get insight. I take it sometimes, but my daughter is 2. So... very different circumstances. Benedryl is safe and knocks the heck out of me. I am not sure if it would decrease your supply, though.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    Generally it is not recommended moms take any sleeping aids while breastfeeding, with the assumption that mom is bedsharing. It is not safe to bedshare and take sleep medication (of any kind). Having said that, it seems melatonin itself (used short-term) isn't of concern while breastfeeding.

    From lactmed website

    ''Drug Levels and Effects:


    Summary of Use during Lactation:
    Melatonin is the hormone produced by the pineal gland that plays a role in regulating sleep and circadian rhythm. Exogenous administration of melatonin has no specific use during breastfeeding; however, endogenous melatonin is normally excreted into breastmilk and probably plays a role in regulating the infant's sleep cycle. Some authors suggest that mothers should nurse in the dark at night in order to avoid reductions in the melatonin content of breastmilk, which could disturb infant sleep patterns.[1] No data exist on the safety of maternal use of melatonin during breastfeeding. However, doses higher than those expected in breastmilk after maternal supplementation have been used safely in infants.[2] It is unlikely that short-term use of usual doses of melatonin in the evening by a nursing mother would adversely affect her breastfed infant.

    Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information about dietary supplements is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.


    Drug Levels:
    Maternal Levels. Melatonin is a normal component of human milk which is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan.

    Ten nursing mothers who were 3 to 5 days postpartum had serum and breastmilk melatonin levels measured between 2 pm and 5 pm and again between 2 am and 4 am. The breastmilk melatonin level averaged 23 ng/L at night, an average of 35% of the maternal serum concentration. Melatonin was undetectable (<10 ng/L) in milk during the daytime. Six of the mothers collected milk after each feeding for 24 hours once within 3 months of delivery. All mothers exhibited a marked circadian rhythm of melatonin excretion into breastmilk with detectable levels first occurring in the evening and dropping to undetectable levels in the morning.[3]

    Twenty-four healthy mothers and 24 mothers with allergic eczema were studied in a crossover fashion to watch either a humorous video, a nonhumorous video, or no video at 2-week intervals. Melatonin was measured in breastmilk 5 times between 10 pm and 6 am. Melatonin levels were higher at all times in the mothers who had watched the humorous video. The melatonin levels in mothers with eczema were generally lower than in normal mothers, but had a greater increase to similar levels in both groups after viewing the humorous video. The highest milk melatonin levels occurred at the 2 am sampling in all phases of the study, with a peak of 20.8 ng/L in healthy mothers and 19.9 ng/L in those with eczema.[4]

    In studies in which exogenous oral melatonin was given to women, the resulting serum melatonin was variable, but peak serum concentrations ranged from 1.1 to 2.6 mcg/L for each 1 mg administered.[5][6][7] This would result in an average increase in breastmilk melatonin concentration from 0.4 to 1 mcg/L for each 1 mg administered to the mother, based on an average milk concentration of 35% of the maternal serum concentration. While the resulting concentrations would be higher than the typical physiologic peak milk concentrations of 0.02 mcg/L,[3][4] it would present a considerably lower dose to the infant than the 10 mg/kg dosages of melatonin that have been safely administered to neonates in clinical studies.[1][2]

    One study found that breastmilk melatonin concentration was inversely correlated with breastmilk prolactin concentration and was higher in women experiencing fatigue in the morning.[8]

    Infant Levels. A study of 8 breastfed and 6 formula-fed infants found different patterns of the melatonin metabolite, 6-sulfatoxymelatonin, in their urine. Breastfed infants had a sinusoidal excretion pattern with a peak at 6 am and a trough at 6 pm. Formula-fed infants had a simple increase in the metabolite that was at baseline between about 8 pm and 4 am with a peak at about noon.[9]


    Effects in Breastfed Infants:
    Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


    Possible Effects on Lactation:'' relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    You can have a look here.
    http://www.e-lactancia.org/ingles/inicio.asp
    They list oxazepam as the safest benzodiazepine for anxiety (it seems to me your sleep issues are related to anxiety, right?).
    Are you anxious during the day too?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    It might be anxiety. When I lay down to sleep my mind races about Lydia Ann dying, is tonight going to be the night, funeral things etc. etc. and some extended family drama that has happened. OR if I do fall asleep then I woke up a couple hours later feeling like I hadn't slept at all so I'm not getting a deep enough REM.

    I do co-sleep and its been fine waking up for Lydia Ann. We are in a kingsize bed. The ambien doesn't knock me out, it just helps you fall asleep. Obviously I know that it would be better to take nothing at all, but I need to take something at this point in my life and journey with Lydia Ann, so maybe its better to take ambien.. and maybe I'll cut the pills into fourths.. I've been doing halfs so I'm taking .5mg so maybe taking .25mg and seeing how that goes.

    A friend of mine who breastfeeds takes melatonin for sleep. I know that the ambien and the melotoning will be in my breastmilk.. I guess the question is which is the least harmful?
    : breastfeeding mamma to our second daughter Gwendolyn Rose born 3/26/10 and to my 31 month old sweetie Alayna.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    IMHO, I'd pick Ambien because there's more research on its possible effects (and still no conclusive evidence of harm in humans) during breastfeeding than there is on melatonin while BF. Between that and the fact that you know how your own body reacts to it already I'd generally pick the devil you know.

    At this stage Benadryl with the frequency you're looking at using it (every night) may damage your milk supply and make you absolutely knocked out while bed-sharing.

    Glad you're doing something to take care of YOU and make sure you're getting some basic needs met right now. Sorry there isn't a heck of a lot of conclusive research out there. I swear half the time it's just companies trying to cover their own a$$ and though they could potentially say it's safe, they can't for fear of litigation. That said, Infantrisk probably is your most reliable resource for these purposes if you still want more information.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    I think that if this is anxiety related the ambien is only going to mask the problem.
    You might want to adress the anxiety problem first. There are safer medications for anxiety like SSRIs (zoloft, paroxetine) when it is not likely the anxiety will go away soon. If you control the anxiety, sleep will also be better and you'll have a global improvement. Of course, this would need clinical evaluation.
    If you really need a sedative, oxazepam is the one that passes the less to BM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can I take Melatonin while breastfee

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*redpowerlady View Post
    Generally it is not recommended moms take any sleeping aids while breastfeeding, with the assumption that mom is bedsharing. It is not safe to bedshare and take sleep medication (of any kind). Having said that, it seems melatonin itself (used short-term) isn't of concern while breastfeeding.
    That's true. But her baby has a terminal illness. So, I think she may need to aid to try and get some ZZZs while also doing her best to be safe with her baby.

    If it were me, I'd go for the melatonin over the Ambien. And then I'd choose maybe half a Benedryl over the Ambien. But if you can't sleep without the Ambien, can you put your baby in a sidecar so she's not right in the bed with you? My friends who take Ambien say it really makes them do weird things.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

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