Flaxseed and Breastfeeding

Although problems are not likely to occur with flaxseed, breastfeeding women should use caution and avoid consuming large amounts of the product. Flaxseed contains a compound that can decrease the quantity or quality of breast milk. To help prevent these problems, make sure to consume flaxseed in normal dietary amounts.

An Overview of Flaxseed and Breastfeeding

Flaxseed is probably safe for most breastfeeding women, especially when taken at normal and reasonable amounts. However, problems could occur if breastfeeding women consume a large amount of flaxseed.
Flaxseed is not exactly the same as flaxseed oil, which does not contain some of the active components of flaxseed. The information in this article does not apply to flaxseed oil.

Is Flaxseed Safe While Breastfeeding?

Flaxseed is a good source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and is used in a variety of different foods (usually baked goods). Although little research is available concerning the safety of flaxseed during breastfeeding, normal amounts (such as those found in foods) are probably safe for women who are breastfeeding.
Flaxseed contains phytoestrogens (plant-based estrogen-like compounds). Taking large doses of flaxseed could theoretically cause problems due to hormonal disruptions caused by phytoestrogens. It is possible that these phytoestrogens could decrease the quantity or quality of breast milk.
You should talk with your healthcare provider about flaxseed and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about flaxseed and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
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