Holiday Breastfeeding PSA about Essential Oils

by Liz Pevytoe, RN, IBCLC

Some tips from me (a lactation consultant) about using your essential oils during the holidays, if you are breastfeeding.

Transcript from the video:
Hey, guys. Liz Pevytoe, here and I'm here with a quick public service announcement for my friends that are breastfeeding moms. I am actually cooking, here in the kitchen. Wow, almost dropped my phone. If I have to be distracted for a second here and there bear with me. I'm getting ready, personally, to put together what we call here in Texas the dressing. A lot of places call it stuffing, for Thanksgiving Day. Hey, Ginger.

I was getting out all the ingredients for our dressing and I pulled out my sage. I know, it's backwards. It reminded me instantly, because if you don't know me, if you're watching this and you don't know who I am, I have been a registered nurse for 21 years. I've been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for 13 years. These kind of things are just ingrained in my brain, in my DNA.

It's been my observation ... Hey, Kristine. Breastfeeding momma, this may be something that you don't know. It has been my observation over a decade that sage has the potential to reduce a mother's breast milk supply. There are two things that happen during the holidays, or two foods that we partake of during the holidays, that a lot of times can reduce a breastfeeding mom's milk supply. Sage is one of them and peppermint is the other one.

When do you need to be concerned? Most breastfeeding moms, if you're past six weeks in your breastfeeding journey ... I'm having to turn my food down. I'm sorry. I'm cooking right now. If you're over six weeks and you have, never, ever had a challenge with ... Hey, Jasmine. Congratulations. I can't wait to see your new baby. If you have any issues with milk supply, if you have insufficient glandular tissue, or you have low milk supply issues, or you're a working mom who's working very tirelessly to make sure that you're making enough milk for your baby while away from your baby, whatever, if you've had any challenges with breast milk supply you want to steer clear of sage and you want to steer clear of peppermint.

That includes anything, because you don't know if they're using a synthetic peppermint, like a fake peppermint to flavor stuff, or you don't know if they're using real peppermint essential oils to flavor their stuff. Starbucks uses peppermint essential oil for their flavoring. Their peppermint mocha drinks can reduce some breastfeeding moms' milk supply. You want to be careful when partaking of anything that has sage in and peppermint. Sage, why am I talking about sage? Dressing, most dressing, or stuffing recipes call for sage.

If you've never had an issue with breast milk supply you could probably eat one serving of ... Yes. It absolutely includes fresh sage, Kristine. You could probably eat one serving of dressing with your Thanksgiving meal and not experience an impact, but having three helpings over a 24 hour period might cause a reduction in supply. There are some things that you can do to get your breast milk supply to rebound, you would just need to talk to a lactation consultant about what to do in that situation.

As a recap. Take it easy on sage, which is included in most of our dressing. Homemade dressing recipes and peppermint. Lay low on the peppermint mocha, everything. Like I said, this has been my experience, has been my observation as a lactation consultant of 13 years. I have seen during this season, especially working moms who are working really hard to maintain their supply, they're hitting the Starbucks on the way to work, because they're tired from the night before and they're getting those peppermint mocha lattes and breast milk supply is tanking.

Okay. It's okay, Kristine. You can still make it just as yummy for everybody else. Abby's going by me. Just don't gorge yourself on it. Like I said, if you have zero issues with supply this is not usually an issue, but if you've ever had any problems with your breast milk supply you want to be careful with it.

Okay. I'm going to scroll back. I'm going to make sure I didn't miss any questions. All right. Okay, guys. I guess that's it. Be careful with your dressing with sage in it and be careful with eating, or drinking anything with peppermint flavored over the holidays. Okay, guys. Have a wonderful, blessed holiday season and if you have any questions just comment down below. All right. Bye bye, guys.

Bye, guys.

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