EPISODE 28

Insomnia is the WORST! The Dos & Donts of meds and herbs while breastfeeding to help you get your ZZZs!

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Episode Transcript

November 06, 2020

I think I have insomnia, but I don't want to take anything that could harm my baby... what should I do?!

This is Maureen Farrell and Heather ONeal. And this is the Milk Minute and inclusive evidence-based podcast. Hosted by midwives and lactation professionals. That’s us! Here to talk to you about all things, lactation and boobs, body positivity, mental health, all the Milky topics. Join us for another episode…

Hey listeners. Hello! Today, we’re going to talk a little bit about insomnia. It’s near and dear to my heart because one of my very best friends actually experienced this and it was absolutely horrible for her. I mean, she just could not sleep. Even when her baby was finally sleeping through the night, she was just up all night long with crazy insomnia and anxiety. Mixed in there as well.

Yeah. So, most of this episode, we’re going to focus on medications for postpartum insomnia. But I did just want to touch on the fact that this is a really common thing that happens in the postpartum. And that insomnia often masks postpartum anxiety or depression.

And often it’s a really big warning sign for us as providers that we might be seeing a client who’s suffering from that. Right. Everybody experiences, PPA and PPD in a different way. It doesn’t always look the same. And sometimes it just looks like you wandering around your house, like a zombie while your baby sleeps peacefully.

And then. Just on top of that. When you go to a provider and you tell them you’re having insomnia and they tell you that there’s no safe medication that you can take, and then they guilt you about taking any medication while breastfeeding. I think that even like the smallest hint of judgment from a provider and people just decide to suffer through it, and that can be a slippery slope into severe postpartum psychosis.

Oh, yeah. So, you know, I, as a provider and I think you feel the same, Maureen, I say, treat that. I mean, sleep loss to that extent is actually an emergency. It’s dangerous. It’s dangerous. It’s dangerous to the health of that parent and the health of the baby, then that they’re responsible for.

Right. And safety. I think comes before feeding. So, if it comes to the point where you have to have a medication that you absolutely cannot breastfeed with… we’ll figure it out. But you know, you have to sleep, you have to sleep to survive. Absolutely. But the good news is we actually do have a lot of safe medications to help you sleep that you can take while you’re lactating, so that you can still feed your baby your milk.

Yes. And to share with your provider and let them know that these are actually okay. Right.

Let’s take a minute to thank our sponsor,¬†HappiTummi. Wait. What’s¬†HappiTummi? Maureen, I’ve told you about this. Well, I forgot so tell me again. Okay. So,¬†HappiTummi¬†is a heating element combined with aromatic and therapeutic herbs. Okay. Okay. I’m listening. And you slip it into a fabric waistband with a separate pouch insert and you put it directly against your baby’s tummy and it provides nearly immediate relief of most common symptoms of fussiness and gas.

Hmmmm, that sounds really nice. Well, it is really nice because I mean, I used to get really bad cramps myself and I had a lavender heat pack that I would put on. And it just makes sense that you would have one for babies. Yeah. I was kind of just thinking like, mmm, I could use this for my own self. Yeah. I mean, it’s got a mixture of lavender, chamomile, lemongrass, peppermint, and spearmint.

Oh, I love that. Yeah. I mean, how great is that? If I had gas and you came over and just tied that around me… I would love you forever. You would be a happy baby. I would be one. I’d have one happy tummy. Yeah. We have an exclusive offer for you, our listeners. If you go to¬†HappiTummi’s website, you can enter promotional code MILKMINUTE10 for 10% off. Yeah. And they have way more products than just that. That just happens to be my favorite one. Yeah. So, we’ll put the link in our show notes. Yes. And don’t use gas drops. Just get HappiTummi. Yes, again, it’s promo code MILKMINUTE10 for 10% off.

Before we go into the specific medications, I wanted to just talk about where you can source this information for free. Free is nice. Yeah. There are two major databases that are free and open to the public that go over what medications are considered safe or dangerous while breastfeeding and what kind of information we actually have about that.

Yeah, that’s nice. So, the first one, that’s my favorite because it’s a free app. I love things that are in an app; I don’t have to open a browser. So¬†LactMed, you can download it… I think on any platform. And, it’s really great. You just type in, you know, the name of the drug you’re looking for and really almost everything I’ve ever searched for is in there.

And it’s updated all the time. So, as new research is coming out about different medications, they automatically update it. Right, and they provide like a general summary of the medication and then they provide a little bit more about say what safe maternal drug levels would be, what safe infant drug levels would be if there’s any research on that. They say what the potential reported, what are actual reported effects on infants, what are the potential hypothetical effects on infants. They have, what are the specific effects on lactation, and I think this is what makes this my favorite is that they always mentioned whether or not there’s evidence of this changing milk supply.

Right. And, you know, don’t be surprised if you get in there and there’s not a lot of information on some of them. They’re not going to make it up if they don’t have it. And as you know, a lot of research is not done experimentally on pregnant people and lactating people because it’s too risky. But the information that they do have is in there.

So, if it says unknown, that doesn’t mean necessarily a no, that means talk to your provider about cost benefit analysis. Right, and that app also provides the references for their sources. So, if they say something that you’re like, I don’t really know what that means… you can go look at the study that they’re referencing.

Yeah. And I do like that they make it idiot proof when it comes to monitoring your baby for symptoms, it’ll say, yeah, take this because if you haven’t slept in a million years, you obviously need to do that. But when you’re looking at your baby, after you take this medication, look for this and this and this symptom, and that could indicate that the baby is getting maybe a little too much.

Yeah. And then the other database I use is the¬†Infant Risk database.¬†They have an app as well, but it’s not free so I don’t have it.¬†That’s called MommyMeds.¬†And that provides information both for the safety of medication while pregnant and while lactating, but they have a website where essentially you can look up all the same information.

So, that’s awesome too. So usually, if I’m looking up a new medication that I’ve never worked with before in my postpartum or pregnant clients, then I look it up in both places, just in case. It takes me 10 minutes as a provider, at the most. Right? And I’m more than happy to give an extra 10 minutes to my client to make sure that their depression is treated to make sure that they can sleep through the night, whatever it is.

And we’re going to give you a list of some of those meds. So maybe you can look it up before you even go to your physician to have that conversation because they’re busy and they are maybe going to lean towards the better-safe-than-sorry method. Right. Like, why don’t you just pump and dump while you’re doing this? Oh, for the next 36 hours just pump and dump. Or, do you have anyone that can watch the baby so you can take nap? And it’s like, do you understand what insomnia actually is? So, be prepared, go in there and say, there’s a few medications that I’d like to discuss with you because I cannot sleep, and it’s getting dangerous. If you say the word dangerous, they’re going to take you a lot more seriously.

And you know what? Download,¬†LactMed, purchase¬†MommyMeds, whatever it is. And when you’re discussing it with your provider, be like, you know what, let me look that up. Hey, can I show you this app that I use? You know, this midwife, I know recommended it. Yeah. These two crazy boobs, over here on this podcast. Anyway, so basically what I did is I went and looked up the most common over the counter and prescribed sleep aids as well as some herbal sleep aids.

And I looked them all up through these databases. So, we’re just going to go over them, one by one, very briefly so that you kind of know what your options are to begin with. So, if you suffer from postpartum insomnia, start taking some notes, and then talk to your own provider about this. So, in general, the recommendation for any of these medications before we do specifics, is that you’re going to try to take them after the last feed that your baby has before they go to sleep.

Assuming that they have a larger sleep chunk in the evening. Because that will just automatically minimize, whatever’s going to be in your milk at their next feed. And we’re going to try to focus on meds with a short half-life. Yeah. Shorter half-life is always going to be better for lactation with any medication. Right. And the half-life is essentially how long it takes for your body to metabolize half of the medication you’ve taken. Right. So that’s our basic premise.

We’re going to start with the over the counter medications. The first ones I’m going to talk about are things like Benadryl and Aleve PM.

They’re the diphenhydramines, and so what these databases say is that small occasional doses of these meds are not expected to have adverse effects on infants. However, larger doses or prolonged doses may cause infant symptoms. What we’re looking for is like drowsiness and the infant, essentially.

But it also might decrease your milk supply. Yep. You take lots of Benadryl and or Claritin-D or Zyrtec-D the D is the decongestant. Anything that’s supposed to dry up your head is going to potentially dry up your milk. Right. So that’s anything, if you’re looking at the ingredients and you see diphenhydramine, you might be able to take that once or twice, but I would not recommend this as your, every single night looking to treat insomnia. Right.

Okay, so then we’re looking at Unisom or whatever the generic one is… No, no, no… actually weirdly enough, the generic version of Unisom has a different active ingredient. Oh, really? Which one is it? It’s actually a diphenhydramine. So, you actually do have to get brand name Unisom. Well, Unisom has doxylamine. Did I just say that right? Doxylamine. We’re going to go with that one. Clearly, we don’t actually say these out loud to each other very often. Okay. Again, this is actually kind of the same story as what we just talked about. Small occasional doses are not likely to affect the infant or on breastfeeding.

However, larger doses or prolonged use can cause drowsiness in the infant or decreased milk supply, but probably not as much of a decrease in milk supply as would the diphenhydramines – the Benadryl, the Aleve. Unisom is typically the more acceptable one to take while lactating. Yes. And we hear less reports of a decreased milk supply.

So, if you’re somebody who doesn’t really worry about your milk supply and maybe have an over-supply, I wouldn’t worry about taking Unisom. Right. So then, probably the next, most common over the counter thing, we see people taking to help them sleep is melatonin. So we naturally have melatonin in our human milk.

And as far as these databases say, it’s really unlikely that this is going to have any adverse effects in the infant or on lactation. However, we don’t have a ton of data on that. I have some personal stories about melatonin, so I actually experienced insomnia in college after a guy broke into my house and tried to rape my roommate. I had to like physically fight him off. Right. So, we’re going to have some serious insomnia after that. So, if you actually have PTSD from a previous loss of a child, and now you have another baby and the insomnia is stemming from more of a trauma-based experience, be careful with some of these because your body might actually override it and you’re awake, but you’re like, I hallucinated. Right.

So, I would wake up after taking melatonin and I would be talking to my lamp thinking it’s my dad asking him to help me with the guy that I thought was in my house, in my dream. And I’d wake up in the middle of it and I’d be like, fucking lamp again. I’m talking to my lamp. Like I need therapy. Are you kidding me?

So, if you wake up with melatonin talking to your lamp, you need to go process that trauma or choose a different medication, for sure. Yeah. And I just want to say like, melatonin is a supplement that is a little bit notorious for having an adverse reaction in that vein where some people take it and they suffer from night terrors as well. That’s pretty common, especially with children. So, what I recommend to clients when they want to take melatonin and they’ve never taken it before I say, start with a low dose. Like if you get a chewable tablet, cut it in half and see how that goes for you, you know, take it Friday night, so you don’t have to wake up and go to work the next day in case you slept like crap.

And always, if you start a medication for sleep, make sure somebody else is in the home with you because you just never know. And you want to be able to have somebody there who can help the baby if you are incapacitated. Right, and we’re not going to be bed sharing when we do this. Right. No bed sharing when you’re on sleep medication.

Right. However, all that being said, a lot of people love melatonin. They feel like it really helps them fall asleep and stay asleep. So, it’s definitely an option, but comes with that specific caution.

Let’s take a minute to thank our sponsor AeroFlow. Oh, tell me more about that. You know, do you ever wake up in the morning? And you’re like, I would love to call my insurance company today. Literally, never once have I thought that. Okay. So, people at AeroFlow knew this. Good. And they decided that it would be in everybody’s best interest if they developed a business where they contacted your insurance company to order your breast pump for you! This sounds good. So, you literally never have to call your insurance company to work out, getting a breast pump, which is fantastic because no one ever wants to do that crap when they’re postpartum.

And the other cool part is they will text you and let you know when it’s time for you to replace your pumping parts and when your insurance will pay for new ones. So maybe, you know, your pump parts are fine for now, but if insurance is going to cover a new set, great. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m not really combing through my insurance benefits information postpartum to see when I qualify for replacement parts.

No, not at all. Right. So, we’re going to go ahead and put a¬†link in the show notes for AeroFlow, and when you click that link, it’s super easy. You just put in all of your insurance information and then somebody from AeroFlow contacts you directly, and you have like a real person that you talk with and then they do all the dirty work for you. It’s fantastic. I couldn’t recommend it enough. Please, just do yourself a favor and¬†get your pump through AeroFlow. It’s going to save you so much time and trouble. Right, and they have all the top brand name pumps, replacement parts and accessories. You know, they’ve got cooling gel pads. They’ve got those pumping bras, all the stuff you need, one place.

Yep. One place. So, I guess the only thing left to say about that is you’re welcome. Yeah. You’re welcome.

Okay, let’s talk about some of our prescription sleep aids. Yeah, hit me with the big mac daddies. Okay. So, I’m just gonna first, we’re going to do the benzodiazepine group. So that would be meds like Restoril and Halcion. And we don’t have a lot of information on these. They’re supposed to have low levels in breast milk and have a short half-life. So, we like that, and as far as we can tell, they pose little risk to the infant, but I don’t think we have any data on how they affect milk supply. Trazadone is one that I like for people. Right. Is that a benzo? Hold on. Cause I know that some of the examples I had, like one is Temazepam and Triazolam they are both benzodiazepines.

So, this one is actually, Trazadone is actually an antidepressant and a sedative and it’s actually a serotonin, antagonist and a re-uptake inhibitor. So that, one’s kind of what I tend to lean towards if I think people are having postpartum depression with anxiety. And of course, you have to take this under the guidance of a provider, because if something does go wrong and you want to be able to call them, these are prescriptions.

So, we’re not just like getting this on the street to get a little shut eye, like call your provider and check it out. But the Trazadone, I like and is okay for lactation. But like Maureen said, you’re going to take it right after a feed at night to get that longer stretch at night where it gives your body time to kind of process it out.

Yeah. So next I want to talk about Silenor or Doxepin, and that is considered not safe while lactating it’s a really sedative sleep aid. There is a significant detectable presence in breast milk, and there have been a couple of reports of adverse effects in those breastfed infants. So, we’re going to say no… take that off your list. Yeah, if you have any leftover in your medicine cabinet from pre-pregnancy, like maybe you used to have to take medication. Right.

Don’t pop that in desperation. Yeah, I mean… there was a note that it might be acceptable for a parent of an older breastfeeding infant. So, if you’re feeding your toddler, maybe, but still I would just go with something else if you can. So, another one that we probably see commercials for all the time cause I feel like this one gets stuck in my head is Lunesta. Yes, with the butterfly.

Yeah, and that one has… God, I don’t know if I can say that one… eszopiclone? That was close. Eszopiclone. Anyway, we don’t have specific data on that medication for breastfeeding parents, but we have studies from similar medications showing that occasional use is probably safe. So, this is kind of in the maybe list.

Yeah. Maybe try something else first, but if you’re at the end of your rope and you know, Lunesta works for you… right. Again, just do it under the guide of a provider. Right. The next one I have is Rozerem, which has Ramelteon in it. Again, no specific information on this one, it’s not considered a reason to discontinue while lactating and feeding your infant, but it was mentioned to closely monitor that infant. So again, I’m going to shove this on the maybe list. Yeah. If already have anxiety and you’re reading something that’s like, yeah, go ahead and take it, but also monitor your infant for signs of breathing. It’s probably not going to help you relax.

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Right, right. You don’t want to like, feel like, well, I’m going to try to fall asleep and make sure my child is breathing through the night. Yeah, that’s scary. But anyway, we have some… the next two coming up are acceptable. So, Sonata or Zaleplon that has low levels in breast milk, short half-life and we don’t have reported adverse outcomes for infants. We don’t have reported adverse outcomes in the lactating parent. Pretty safe. Okay. Yeah. I’ve actually never prescribed that one before. Right. So, you know, there’s that one. And then the last one is Ambien. Another really commonly prescribed on low levels in breast milk, short half-life no expected adverse reactions.

However, however, however, it was some of these like, especially Ambien, you actually have a decrease in REM sleep. Right. So, you are asleep, but the quality of sleep, is just not going to be as good. So, if we’re looking to heal you from something that is preventing you from sleeping, one that decreases your REM sleep, it’s probably not going to be my choice.

And the reality is with any of these medications that are going to essentially force your body to sleep, it’s kind of just putting a Band-Aid on the problem, which you might need. Right? I’m not saying like, oh, let it bleed out that Band-Aid’s not going to heal you. No, Band-Aid that shit. And then we’re going to figure out what’s really causing that insomnia.

Yeah. For step one, get you some sleep. Right? Step two, process out with a therapist, whatever trauma you’re hanging on to maybe from birth, maybe from a previous birth, because the act of giving birth can open up some old wounds that you forgot you even had. Yeah, it definitely did for me. I was like, oh, I’m totally fine after like, you know, my sexual assault trauma as a teenager. And then I had a baby and I was like, whoa, just kidding. That’s all back. Just kidding. And like you said, it doesn’t even have to be like, I had a birth trauma and it’s triggered by birth. No, I didn’t have a traumatic birth. I had, you know, kind of like this normal, beautiful home birth.

I mean, you know, I didn’t have an obstetrician shove his fingers inside me without asking, I had a rare, very respectful birth and that still brought back trauma. Yep. Because we have muscle memory. Right. And it’s real. So, you know, let’s just definitely take that seriously and know that you don’t have to be suffering with this.

It’s truly something that you can work with a professional to heal. And then on top of that, a little bit of exercise throughout the day, even though you’re fucking tired as hell… Still going to help. Restorative yoga, like five minutes of restorative yoga at the end of the day is going to help get your brain right.

Getting on a schedule, decreasing the amount of blue light. Right. And I know, when you suffer from really true insomnia, sleep hygiene, isn’t going to fix it. But, having good sleep hygiene is going to help heal you. Right. And it’s going to help your hormones to kind of get regulated and get in a pattern which is going to trickle down and help your baby get into a good pattern.

And I did want to mention, since I am an herbalist and I tend to turn to herbs before medications and many of my clients do as well. I just wanted to talk about five of my favorite go-to herbs for sleep and relaxation that we actually do have some data on as far as safety and lactation goes. They do actually come up in these databases, which is always surprising to me, I’m like, whoa, they care about my plants.

Yeah. And these might be some familiar ones to you as well. So again, you know, even if you’re not the kind of person who would prefer an herb to a medication, some of these you could certainly take in tandem with a medication or could be part of the process of coming off of a medication, a stop gap until you take it, or you could try these first before resorting to a medication.

Okay. So, I want to just start with valerian root because it’s very common. It’s in most drug stores, a lot of people have actually heard of this for sleep. That’s a root, right? Yes. So, valerian is a plant we can grow here in the United States.

We use the root to that plant, although I also use the flower, but the root is what you’re going to find commercially typically. Now, of course, we don’t have specific studies for use with valerian while lactating. Um, however, this is considered overall a very well tolerated and safe herb with very few side or side effects.

It’s generally considered safe to take. I will mention that this is one of those supplements that can cause some wonky reactions like melatonin does. And like Benadryl does sometimes where for most people it works really great. And every once in a while, somebody takes it and they’re just fucking wired.

Really? Yeah. So again, with valerian specifically when people are interested in taking that as a tea or as a tincture, my recommendation is the same as with melatonin, start with a low dose, try it on a Friday night or a Saturday night when you still have time to recoup before the work week if you have to. Do any of these herbs, give you like the same hangover the next day? I will talk about one that sometimes does. Okay. Typically, valerian doesn’t when people take it, who tolerate it well, you know, they sleep deeply. They wake up feeling rested. It’s great. Nice. But the next one I want to talk about, I actually do not typically recommend taking high doses of, so I want to talk about hops, which you might be familiar with because we make beer from it. Get you an old IPA before bed.

Right. And a lot of people take hop supplements as a galactagogue as something that increases milk supply. However, hops are very sedative. I didn’t know that. Yeah. Why do you think beer makes so many people fall asleep? I mean, so is alcohol, right? Interesting. But on top of it, hops are a really sedative sleep aid, but we do actually have some studies in animals that hops can increase serum prolactin levels, increasing milk supply.

So when you take these low supplement doses throughout the day, you know, if you’re trying to use it as a galactagogue, it’s not going to make you really drowsy, but if you’re taking a larger dose to help you sleep, you could really sleep deeply enough, perhaps not to wake up for baby. So again, this one is not my favorite because I don’t love the way it feels to be sedated.

I don’t love the way it feels. I kind of do. Knock. Me. Out. I just don’t love the way it feels, like if I’m taking a big dose of hops and I’m like, I really need to sleep. I wake up kind of feeling drowsy. I don’t feel great in the morning, but small doses might be really helpful. And again, if you want to take this, please don’t bed share with baby until you kind of figure out how your body reacts to it.

Take a small dose, right. And see what happens there. And, you know, it is considered safe to take while breastfeeding. It’s an, a lot of milk supply supplements, but those are pretty low levels. Maureen was doing air quotes there under milk supply supplements in case you missed it. Yes. You missed it because we’re only vocal.

Okay. So anyway, I have a love slash dislike relationship with hops. Okay, the next one is passionflower. Again, we do not have specific studies in regards… passionflower?¬† Does it make you do it while you’re asleep? No, not at all. It’s a native verb to Appalachia. Just by the way, which is great. So, it grows wild here.

It’s incredibly beautiful tall vines with these crazy beautiful white and purple flowers. Google it because it’s gorgeous. I’m going to have to show Heather. I wonder who was walking by one day and they were like, I want to eat that shit. I’m going to eat it. And then they woke up in a field and they were like, what happened? Oh my God.

Oh, Oh, wow. That’s gorgeous. It almost looks like a jellyfish. It looks like a tropical plant. And many of you who live where we do in West Virginia might be familiar with the fruit maypop comes from the passionflower plant, and it’s cultivated here for jams and jellies and snacks… it’s yummy.

Girl, we’ll put this on a post. It’s beautiful. I grew a passionflower. I love it. So again, no specific studies are on breastfeeding, just like we don’t have specific studies on basically anything during pregnancy and lactation because it’s not totally ethical. However, it is generally considered a safe sleep aid with very few side effects.

And I like this one for people who feel like their brain prevents them from sleeping. Like they have the racing hamster wheel brain. Don’t look at me like that. Yeah. Well, I could have just looked in the mirror, Heather. And I think the tea tastes really nice. You can take it as a tea, tincture, capsule, whatever, but it’s really considered a safe one to use.

And I used it while lactating. I used it while pregnant and I think it really helps reduce anxiety too. So, I like it for things like postpartum insomnia when I’m also suspecting that we might have some anxiety playing in. Hmm, twist my arm. I will totally drink some passionflower tea and take a nap. In fact, cancel work today. That’s my new plan. Just drink passionflower. Yeah, it’s great.

The next one on my list is oat straw. Yes, that is oatmeal. What I know it comes from a plant. I thought oatmeal grew on trees. And it basically looks like grass when it grows in a field. And when you’re eating oatmeal, they’ve taken the fruit from this plant, you know, the seeds and they process it and roll it out.

Whatever. When I’m talking about the herb, we’re really talking about a very unprocessed product where they just harvest the seed from that plant, dry it chop it that’s, it’s considered a safe food, a safe supplement. It’s very relaxing. And a lot of people use it to promote their milk supply. We don’t have a ton of data to support this, but nutritively, this is a really good herb.

So, I like it. I like it to help sleep. I like it to help reduce anxiety. You can drink it as a tea, again, a tincture or a capsule, or you can get steel cut oats, which are a much less processed oat product and eat a bunch of those. Doesn’t oat also to balance your blood sugar? So, when your blood sugar is… and cholesterol, it lowers cholesterol… it’s great. We love oats. Yeah, so when your blood sugar is balanced, you’re going to be able to sleep better.

For sure. I’ve actually had people where yes, they put this in a tea, but then they also make themselves a little bit of kind of oatmeal dessert, you know, and they’ll soak their steel cut oats, cook them, have a little dollop of some Greek yogurt put a little honey on them and like that’s their dessert after dinner.

Yeah. Sounds great. Passionflower on top. Yeah. Okay. My last one is chamomile. Okay. Chamomile tea, now I’m going to be clear here. If you’re looking for chamomile, the Latin name for this plant is not chamomilla. That is a completely different plant. It has caused a lot of issues in medical studies regarding the safety of this plant. Chamomile or matcha Caria, or another species that is similar in the matcha Caria genus that’s the plant we’re talking about. This is a safe plant. Dude, you didn’t even have that Latin word written down, you know that out of your brain. But the chamomilla plant, where that is the Latin name, that is not chamomile tea. What? Right… so this is where common names, for plants and Latin names for plants really are just a pain in the ass.

And sometimes I just want to be that elitist piece of shit, herbalist, who doesn’t use common names. You said you’re going to make me a better person, but anyway, so I’m talking about chamomile tea. There are a couple of different species of this plant, but it’s a small shrubby plant, small white flowers, yellow center.

It smells delicious. Traditionally used in English gardens. And it’s really, it’s pretty easy to grow, which I love. It’s a pain in the ass to harvest though, because the flowers are like the size of your pinky nail. Again, I did not know that. Yeah, they’re tiny anyway, but it’s a really popular tea. It’s really easy to find in a drugstore, in a health food store.

And, you know, despite its popularity, I think it’s great. I love this tea. It’s amazing for your digestive system. It’s incredibly carminative and calming. It helps with nausea. It helps with diarrhea. It helps with gas. I love it. It also helps you sleep, you know, a lot of people kind of see this and they’re like, well, everybody drinks, chamomile tea and it’s not that great.

No, it is. It’s really great. Get some nice high-quality tea. I really don’t love getting teabags from the grocery store. Cause they’ve been sitting there for five years. And, you know, make a cup of tea, have a tincture. You can even like powder up the dried flowers and sprinkle it in your food.

But if you do have only grocery store tea, maybe two teabags instead of one? So double up, because they’re just not going to be as strong because they are old. Yeah, I always double up those grocery store teabags. The cool thing about this is that it’s a traditional remedy to use for infant colic and diarrhea.

Nice. And there has been real safety data in the direct use with infants. So, we know that having this in your milk is not going to be a problem. Nice. Yeah. So, what you’re saying is pop a Trazadone with your provider guidance, drink a cup of chamomile and go to bed. Right. And, you know, I recommend chamomile tea for the lactating parent to help with infant colic all the time.

Because it does come through breastmilk. Nice. So, I love that. And I’m like, hey, it kind of gives you a chill pill. Might help your baby with their crying and screaming for three hours every day. And regardless, it’s going to help you tolerate that because you’re not as anxious and yeah, it might help you sleep. It might help you deal with some insomnia.

It’s also just going to be a really a nice thing to add some health for your body and build some health. This is awesome. It makes me want to take a nap. Yeah. So that’s awesome. Yeah. So, I did want to mention if you are interested in getting some really nice high-quality herbs, you can sometimes totally find those on Amazon, but I particularly like¬†Mountain Rose Herbs,¬†Star West Herbs, and¬†Pacific Botanicals.

Pacific botanicals. You usually have to buy larger amounts. So, like get together with a couple of friends and buy your pound of passionflower. Oh. But like Mountain Rose, you can buy like two ounces of whatever herbs you want. They’re going to be loose-leaf. But I use a little French press for my teas that are loose-leaf and that’s really easy.

You can use reusable teabags, tea balls. You can also get teapots from somewhere like Teavana or whatever that have a little filter in there made for loose leaf tea. And I love it. And it really has a better taste that way, better medicinal qualities. It’s going to be fresher. It’s great. Well, that’s all I’m going to say on herbs for now.

We’ll probably do a couple other episodes about herbs. What about catnip? Yeah. Catnip is a great one too. I was just trying to stick to five on my list. Sorry, but we’ll do six for you. Well, people don’t know that you can have catnip. Yeah. So, catnip, which is a plant that maybe if you have a cat, you’re familiar with it does not have that effect in humans.

It’s very calming when you take it as a tier supplement, it doesn’t make you go batshit bananas. Like your fucking cat. It’s extremely calming. It’s another traditional colic, diarrhea, gas remedy for babies. And again, it really has similar effects to chamomile where it’s very nutritive. It’s very healing to your gut and your digestive system specifically.

I like this one at night to give my husband, so he doesn’t fart as much. So, if you have a farter. You should all just drink some catnip, no comment. Or if you are the farter. Yeah. And again, we don’t have specific data on the safety of breastfeeding and catnip because we don’t really have it on anything, but it is generally considered a safe herb, few side effects, etcetera.

And I like vetiver, essential oil. I put that on my feet on the bottom of my feet. Sounds nice. They call it liquid Ambien, but I don’t know if that’s accurate. We should have done this on a Friday night, Heather. So, we could just like drink tea and oil up and go to sleep. I call big spoon. All right. Thank you for tuning in and go find a sleeping buddy.

And, assume the position. Drink your tea, take your meds. Have a good night’s sleep. Thanks for listening to the Milk Minute. If you haven’t already, please like subscribe and review our podcast wherever you listen. If you’d like to support our podcast, you can find us on Patreon at¬†patreon.com/milkminutepodcast.

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