Search

IS THERE ANY BENEFIT OF TURMERIC FOR BREASTFEEDING MOMS AND PREGNANT WOMEN?


We all know that having a well-balanced diet is crucial not only during pregnancy but also during the postpartum period. Including enough protein, colorful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and also the right supplements, and antioxidants from herbs and spices, like turmeric might help us achieve an overall balanced diet. However, many new moms still wonder how their diet will affect their baby.


While the internet may provide a lot of natural remedies to boost your immunity, not all of them might be considered safe, especially during pregnancy and lactation.

Turmeric might be one of them.


If you read my previous article about Turmeric, you saw, that the scientist has found some fascinating effect of Turmeric (Curcumin) on our body. As you can see I've put "curcumin" in brackets.

Why is that?

Because these two words are sometimes used interchangeably. Go on my previous article for further explanation HERE.


Turmeric anti-inflammatory properties are thought to make it an incredibly powerful spice. Stress, lack of sleep, and environmental toxins, like pollutants in the air, all tax the body and can increase inflammation. Therefore, regularly incorporating Turmeric into the diet may increase the body’s ability to reduce the constant inflammation that we are all subject to.



POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF TURMERIC IN BREASTFEEDING MOMS


  • Acts as an immune booster, as it contains anti-bacterial and antiviral properties.

  • It helps reduce the risk of mastitis, as it helps reduce inflammation.

  • It helps beat the blues as it works as an anti-depressant. Postpartum depression can occur due to a combination of mental and physical factors. Turmeric is believed to enhance your memory and mood, improves brain function and dopamine levels.

  • It helps promote digestion as it helps in the production of bile and keeps gas and bloating in check.

  • It is a natural painkiller. Turmeric can help reduce inflammation that causes pain, especially in joints. 

  • It is used as a galactagogue. Turmeric is widely used in India as it is believed to boost the production of breastmilk. However, there is no scientific evidence that supports the use of turmeric as a galactagogue. Moreover, there is also no data to suggest the safe intake limit of turmeric when breastfeeding. Therefore, if you decide to consume turmeric while pregnant, it is recommended to consume it only as a flavoring agent in foods. However, I would like to emphasize that you consult with a lactation specialist.

  • Helps improve your cholesterol levels, as curcumin improves the lining of your blood vessels, and helps prevent heart disease.

  • It helps boost blood circulation and aids in general good health.



Although research shows some beneficial effects (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic) turmeric is still an unproven treatment, though it has years of traditional use and some preliminary convincing preliminary research.


Should I make myself that "Golden latte"?

SHOULD YOU CONSUME TURMERIC WHILE PREGNANT OR LACTATING?

Turmeric is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). As a food ingredient by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration turmeric is generally well tolerated.

Because of a lack of data, turmeric in amounts higher than those found in foods as a flavoring should probably be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


It's also important to note that women who are trying to conceive probably shouldn't use curcumin, as it has also been investigated as a contraceptive.

ADVERSE SIDE-EFFECTS OF TURMERIC ON PREGNANCY

Studies have shown that curcumin might stimulate uterine contractions during pregnancy and cause bleedings. There's also been research, stating curcumin can affect fetal development.

EFFECT ON LACTATION AND BREASTMILK

There has been a couple of studies, which claimed turmeric help to improve mastitis in breastfeeding mothers, but the studies could not be considered as blinded, because of the color and odor differences between test groups.



BOTTOM LINE


First and foremost, a varied diet is the best way to get the nutrients you and your baby need for a healthy pregnancy and lactation. If you’re not pregnant/breastfeeding and are looking for an excellent way to receive the health benefits of turmeric, go for it. If you're craving that golden latte (recipe: HERE), drink it up. However, you should consume the herb in small and appropriate amounts through food. Avoid consuming turmeric supplements.



Disclaimer: Most herbal treatments have not been thoroughly researched, particularly in regard to lactation. Herbs are drugs, and some caution is necessary. I am presenting this data as is, without any warranty of any kind, express or implied, and am not liable for its accuracy nor for any loss or damage caused by a user’s reliance on this information.



REFERENCES:

  1. Turmeric use while Breastfeeding. (2018, July 31). Retrieved August 2, 2018, from https://www.drugs.com/breastfeeding/turmeric.html

  2. Linus Pauling Institute  (2019, January 02). Curcumin. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/curcumin#pregnancy-lactation

  3. Chen, C. C., Hsieh, M. S., Hsuuw, Y. D., Huang, F. J., & Chan, W. H. (2010). Hazardous effects of curcumin on mouse embryonic development through a mitochondria-dependent apoptotic signaling pathway. International journal of molecular sciences, 11(8), 2839-55. doi:10.3390/ijms11082839 Retrieved August 2, 2018, from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996731/