First off, congratulations on your little one! This is an exciting (and probably nerve-wracking) time in your life. With the responsibilities of motherhood weighing on your mind, taking something like Kratom to relax might sound like a good idea… but is it?
Before we get into the what and why behind this question, let’s get one thing out of the way.
Is taking Kratom During Pregnancy Safe? NO.
The short answer is ‘no’.
But that doesn’t tell you much does it? So what we’re going to do is give you some info on WHY it isn’t safe, the potential risks involved, and whether or not you can get back on Kratom once you’re breastfeeding.
Kratom and Pregnancy: A Cautionary Tale
Exposure to Kratom during pregnancy may have serious consequences for newborns. A study found that 5 out of 6 infants born to mothers who used Kratom during pregnancy experienced symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome, starting around 6 to 8 hours after giving birth, and lasting up to 5 days [1,2]. These symptoms included jitteriness, irritability, feeding intolerance, and emesis.
The study evaluated 5 infants, each of which had symptoms of withdrawal. Treatment for the infants included the use of a protocol used to wean babies off of morphine, but even this intervention was not without risks. One infant experienced over-sedation when switched from morphine to clonidine and went into sinus bradycardia (slow heart rate) on both drugs. Another infant, exposed to a daily dose of 18-20 grams three times daily, required the use of IV morphine at a dose of 10 mg/kg/hour in order to manage abstinence symptoms that developed 2 days after birth.
In light of these findings, it is strongly advised to avoid Kratom use during pregnancy. Kratom may cause dependency in newborns, the severity of which depends on the amount and frequency of use by the mother. To minimize potential harm to your baby, it is recommended to cease use of Kratom and any other herbal substances if you become pregnant.
Kratom & Pregnancy: What Do We Know So Far?
The Importance of Self-Care for Expecting Mothers
Expecting mothers have a crucial role to play in ensuring the health and well-being of their unborn child. To support this goal, they are encouraged to take prenatal vitamins and multivitamins to provide the necessary nutrients to their baby.
However, it is equally important for mothers-to-be to be cautious when it comes to adding new substances to their diet or routine. They are advised to seek the advice of their doctor before making any changes to ensure that their choices will not negatively impact their growing child.
It’s worth noting that the effects of supplements and medications on a developing fetus can be complex and often untested. That’s why it’s essential for expecting mothers to prioritize self-care and be proactive about seeking guidance from their medical providers.
During pregnancy, a variety of uncomfortable signs and symptoms can arise, such as:
- Mood swings
- Gas and bloating
- Frequent need to urinate
- Morning sickness
- Aches and pains
- General discomfort
- Itchy skin
- Changes in blood pressure
- And more…
The Dilemma of Safe and Natural Solutions for Pregnancy Issues
Pregnancy can be a challenging time for a woman’s body, with a range of physical and emotional changes. It’s natural to seek safe and natural ways to alleviate these symptoms and make the journey a little easier. However, not all that is marketed as natural is suitable or safe to consume while carrying a baby.
When it comes to Kratom, it is highly advised that expecting mothers avoid it or consult their doctor if they are already using it. The medical opinion on Kratom during pregnancy is overwhelmingly negative, and it’s highly likely that the answer from your doctor will be to discontinue its use.
The Illusion of a Perfect Solution: Kratom and Pregnancy
What is Kratom?
And why do so many pregnant women ask about using it?
Kratom is a supplement made from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa, a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. Kratom is often taken for its potential to increase energy, relieve aches and pains, and reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.
Sounds great, right? Well, it usually is… for those who are NOT pregnant.
But considering these benefits, it’s no wonder that Kratom looks attractive for pregnant women who are experiencing physical and emotional discomfort as a result of their pregnancy.
However, the lack of research on Kratom during pregnancy and the potential dangers associated with its use make it advisable for expecting mothers to avoid it.
Despite its popularity among the general public, Kratom could have potentially harmful side effects, and its use during pregnancy is not well researched, leaving the potential impact on a growing fetus unknown.
Despite the appeal of Kratom as a remedy for common pregnancy discomforts, its use during pregnancy comes with potential side effects that may not be suitable for expectant mothers.
Some of the most common Kratom side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal discomfort
- Restlessness or anxiety
- Frequent urination
- Tingling or numbness
- Jitters or tremors
- Sedation and sleepiness (especially at higher doses)
- Increase or decrease in heart rate and blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
Although side effects from Kratom do tend to be mild at worst, and most people don’t experience the majority of them, the risk is still ever-present, and could be exacerbated by the side effects of pregnancy.
The Importance of Discontinuing Kratom during Pregnancy
Expecting mothers are advised to stop using Kratom, as its potential effects on the fetus and its health have not been thoroughly researched. The use of Kratom may pose a risk to the baby’s health, including the possibility of liver toxicity, as the herb is metabolized in the liver and can be transferred to the fetus through the umbilical cord.
It is essential to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about safe ways to stop using Kratom if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Additionally, it is crucial to keep in mind that Kratom is not the only natural herb that should be avoided during pregnancy for various reasons.
Is It Safe To Use Kratom While Nursing?
For nursing mothers, the general rule of thumb is to avoid all unnecessary medications, both safe and not. If the medication is deemed necessary, it’s best to control the dose and limit usage as much as possible.
Additionally, monitoring the nursing child for any adverse symptoms and taking the medication after the baby has eaten to allow for the drug to clear can help reduce exposure.
Another method to consider is using the pump and dump technique, which involves pumping and disposing of the breast milk.
If you choose to use Kratom while nursing, it’s advisable to limit use and use the pump and dump method to control which batches of breast milk are safe for consumption. However, keep in mind that this method won’t completely eliminate all Kratom from the breast milk, and there is still a risk of trace amounts being ingested by the baby.
Final Thoughts on Taking Kratom When Pregnant or Breastfeeding
It’s not uncommon to find women who have used or are currently using Kratom while pregnant or breastfeeding, but this does not mean it is safe to do so. Despite being a natural herb, natural does not always equate to safety. It’s best to consult with a doctor about using Kratom during these sensitive times to ensure the health of both you and your baby.
Always Tell Your Doctor the Truth.
It’s understandable to be hesitant to disclose Kratom use to a doctor, but speaking openly and honestly can help ensure proper monitoring. Using Kratom as a self-treatment option is not recommended due to limited knowledge on the effects during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
In some cases, Kratom may be a safer alternative to traditional medications that pose risks to breastfed babies. However, it’s important to always discuss with a doctor before combining Kratom with other medications. Weighing the risks and benefits, along with a doctor’s guidance, can help determine what is best for you and your baby.