Breastfeeding mothers are very conscious about their diets. They usually ask questions before eating something.
Is it safe for my baby? Will it go into my feed too? Some of them even follow some weird myths.
The scientific basis of these myths doesn’t exist. It is very appropriate to be conscious of your diet when breastfeeding your child because your diet is reflected in the growth of your baby.
Food items, drugs, and supplements that might not be dangerous for us can prove toxic to the child you are breastfeeding.
The common question that we have come across on various drug forum discussions is that ‘Is breastfeeding possible with Kratom?’ So today’s article will cover this important topic.
What is Kratom?
Kratom, generically called Mitragyna Speciosa is an herbal supplement that is grown in the region of Southeast Asia.
The leave of the plant has been used for centuries to relieve fatigue, stress, anxiety, constipation etc.
Kratom leaves are of three varieties; Green, white and red (colors based on the color of a central vein).
These varieties form different strains of Kratom. Some of these strains are stimulating; others are relaxing while some have properties in between the two effects.
Kratom leaves have more than 40 types of alkaloids present in it. The major alkaloids are 7-hydroxy Mitragynine and Mitragynine. These alkaloids are responsible for the effects produced by Kratom.
What is the mechanism of action of Kratom?
Mitragynine and 7-hydroxy Mitragynine act on the mu, delta, and kappa Opiate receptors present in the central nervous system.
These alkaloids are an agonist at the Opiate receptors. When they act on the Opiate receptors there is stimulation of the nervous system.
The pain pathway is suppressed by the production of enkephalins, dynorphins, and endorphins.
There is a surge in the levels of dopamine and serotonin due to which one feel happy and euphoric.
The cognitive abilities are enhanced by the delayed reuptake mechanism of acetylcholine.
Due to the action of the Kratom alkaloids on the Opiate receptors, there is general stimulation at low doses for most of the Kratom strains. At higher doses, however, the sedative effect of Kratom is produced.
Why do breastfeeding mothers consume Kratom?
Some of the women who are breastfeeding their children tend to use Kratom because they have been using it in pregnancy and before pregnancy and they continue to do so.
While, others may experience postpartum stress and depression, and to fight it off they take Kratom.
Women who are suffering from Sheehan’s syndrome (ischemia of pituitary gland due to loss of blood during labor, leading to hypopituitarism i.e. mood swings) may also consume Kratom.
Different women have different reasons; the major question is that is it safe for a breastfeeding mother to consume Kratom?
Using Kratom in lactation
Based on the chemistry of the alkaloids of Kratom one may expect some degree of transfer of Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine to the child.
However, the extent of effects of maternal consumption of Kratom on the child is unknown. Little or no studies have been conducted on the safety of use of Kratom during breastfeeding.
Therefore it is recommended that Kratom shouldn’t be used during lactation. The fact that is of major concern is that Kratom and its products are not regulated by the FDA or DEA and thus the products can be contaminated or adulterated so using Kratom should be avoided during lactation.
Mothers who are taking Kratom in lactation are encouraged to discuss this matter with their doctor and gradually wean off Kratom.
What are user reviews about taking Kratom during lactation?
According to a user on Reddit, she had been taking Kratom during her pregnancy and then lactation.
Her baby was healthy like other babies and she recovered very quickly from her C-section. Most of the users, however, are concerned about the use of Kratom during breastfeeding and so they gave various suggestions.
One user suggested pumping breast milk before taking Kratom so that the breastfeeding doesn’t contain Kratom and then pump again after 20 hours when the Kratom is eliminated from the body.
One of the users was of the view that if the alkaloids of Kratom can cross the blood-brain barrier, it can end up in breast milk too, but there’s no scientific evidence to this.
A user said that even breastfeed contains Kratom, the chances of the baby digesting the alkaloids is very low so it won’t affect the baby.
There was a suggestion to drug test the breast milk, to see if it contains Kratom alkaloids.
Is breastfeeding possible with Kratom?-The bottom line
Breastfeeding is absolutely possible with Kratom, but we are not sure about the effects of Kratom on the growing baby, we are not sure if it can retard the growth of your child or make him addicted and crave for it.
The research on this topic is scarce and the internet doesn’t suggest any helpful links to which one can relate.
Therefore, it is recommended not to take Kratom while you are breastfeeding your child as it may cause some negative effects.