Is Wort Safe for Breastfeeding Moms

“At present we have no data on the transfer of hypericin to milk or the infant. Judging by its chemistry, it likely penetrates milk. It is quite lipophilic and has a large volume of distribution, which suggests that it could build up over a long period of exposure. It is orally bioavailable and would be absorbed by the infant. One section of the FDA is proposing to study the breastmilk levels but this has not yet been done.”

“At this point it is my impression that we should be very cautious with this product in breastfeeding mothers. The fact that hypericin is at least partially a MAO inhibitor is quite concerning. MAO inhibitors have a sorted past and are due cause for concern. Because we presently have well studied and effective antidepressants such as Zoloft (sertraline) and Paxil (paroxtine) which we believe transfer to the breastfeed infant poorly, I would urge breastfeeding mothers not consume St. Johns Wort products until we know more.”

There are several depression medications that you can take while breastfeeding. According to Tom Hale’s site (see above for address), Zoloft should be OK, along with several others. St John’s Wort and Prozac are not recommended.

You may wish to read some of the articles at Hale’s site if you’re going to take medication (or print them out for yourself and/or your doctor). There are 5 articles there on antidepressant medications and breastfeeding. They are located in the Professional Lactation Forum. You can also ask questions about specific drugs (in the Open Lactation Forum) if you can’t find information about them there.