Digestive System Home > Senna and Breastfeeding

Before taking senna, nursing women should first consult their healthcare providers. Although studies suggest that the product does not pass through breast milk, it is best to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or medication if you are nursing. No serious problems are expected in breastfeeding women who take senna on a short-term basis.

An Overview of Senna and Breastfeeding

Senna is a natural laxative used most often for treating constipation. Short-term senna use is usually considered to be safe for breastfeeding women. However, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider (or your child's healthcare provider) before taking any medication or supplement while breastfeeding.

Is It Safe?

Very little senna is absorbed into the bloodstream, and studies suggest that the supplement does not pass through breast milk. However, the body converts senna into rhein, and a very small amount of rhein is passed through breast milk. No serious problems would be expected from appropriate, short-term use of senna while breastfeeding.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding while taking senna. 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 that is right for you.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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