The use of any supplement, medication, or drug is not recommended while pregnant or breastfeeding, because of lack of research on potential harm to your child’s developing brain and body. This includes kratom, as it is difficult to perform any rigorous studies of kratom or any drug on breastfeeding women due to ethics boards.
There is even less research on using kratom while breastfeeding than there is on mothers using kratom while pregnant. We have to assume mothers breastfeeding while using kratom were also using kratom while pregnant. Research shows other opioids as well as THC and CBD pass through breastmilk, so it is assumed that kratom alkaloids will be as well.1
Is taking prescription opioids while breastfeeding safe?
Breastfeeding mothers are often prescribed opioids by their doctors to handle pain after labor or cesarean section delivery. While opioid exposure in newborns through breastmilk is considered low risk, mothers and healthcare professionals are cautioned to looking for changes in feeding, constipation, and excessive sleepiness that may suggest the baby is more sensitive than normal to opioids. Doctors also suggest women who are taking the most common opioid prescribed, Percocet, which is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, “pump and dump” if they are taking more than 40 mg of oxycodone a day.2
Ways to reduce harm from using kratom while breastfeeding
What can we learn from this? If you have to use kratom while breastfeeding, try to use the lowest dose possible as infrequently as you can. If you can’t lower your dose, make sure to breastfeed first, then take your kratom. If you can’t avoid consuming large doses of kratom, consider the “pump and dump” method or potentially switching to infant formula.
Need more kratom science?
To learn more about the potential risks and benefits of using kratom, check out Kratom Is Medicine, the new book from AURA Therapeutics founder Dr. Michele Ross.
- Davis E, Lee T, Weber JT, Bugden S. Cannabis use in pregnancy and breastfeeding: The pharmacist’s role. Can Pharm J (Ott). 2020;153(2):95-100.