Lactation is an important part of motherhood. What you eat is passed on through your breast milk to your little one. That is why many women exercise great caution when it comes to what they eat while breastfeeding.
Activated charcoal is used by many women for its numerous benefits. These include removing toxins from your body. Doctors also recommend it to pregnant women to prevent morning sickness. It is usually taken orally. But is it safe to use activated charcoal while breastfeeding? Read on to find out.
What is activated charcoal?
Acitvated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a special form of carbon that is processed to contain small pores. These pores are low-volume. They help increase the surface area that is available for the absorption or any chemical reaction.
It is used in many medicines and cosmetics to help trap harmful toxins present in your body. Usually, activated charcoal comes as a fine black powder. It is odorless and tasteless and non-toxic in nature. It is very useful in protecting your body from absorbing poisonous substances.
Activated charcoal pills are often given by doctors to treat cases of morning sickness during pregnancy.
Read more: 7 Juices to Increase Lactation
Benefits of Using Activated Charcoal
There are several benefits of using activated charcoal. These include:
- Teeth Whitening
- Helps provide relief from gas and bloating
- Prevents alcohol poisoning
- Cleansing mold living in your body
- Helps detoxify your digestive system
- Applied externally, it can provide relief from insect bites and acne
- Great anti-aging properties
- Help in reducing high cholesterol
Is it safe to use activated charcoal during breastfeeding?
Activated charcoal has till now not been reported to be harmful to use during breastfeeding. There have been no evidence to show it causes problems for nursing babies. That is why most doctors think it is safe to use during lactation.
Read more: 7 Foods to Avoid While Breastfeeding
When can my doctor recommend using activated charcoal during nursing?
Your doctor can prescribe activated charcoal as a treatment for you while you are breastfeeding. This is because the substance is well known for its ability to absorb toxic substances from your body. It is also very helpful in removing harmful allergens from the body.
However, unlike other medication, activated charcoal does not get absorbed into your blood stream. It acts only in your gut. That is why doctors recommend it during breastfeeding also. Here are the conditions during breastfeeding which can be treated with the use of activated charcoal:
- Allergic reactions
- Intestinal infections
- Liver problems
- Gastrointestinal disorders including flatulence
- Food poisoning
- Drug poisoning
- Other kinds of poisoning
What are the possible side effects of using activated charcoal during breastfeeding?
Even though using activated charcoal is considered to be safe during nursing, there are some side effects that you need to be aware of. There are certain conditions where a woman cannot use this remedy. These include:
- Diagnosis of ulcers
- Digestive conditions
- Bleeding in the digestive organs
- Intestinal blockage
- Recent surgery
Care should also be taken when a new mom is also taking other medications. There are certain drugs that activated charcoal can react with. That is why it is very important for you to talk to your doctor before you start taking this medication. It is best to make sure that it will not react with any of your existing drugs.
Along with reactions with other drugs, uncontrolled use of activated charcoal while breastfeeding can also lead to:
- Reduced immunity
- Vitamin deficiencies
Make sure you know the proper dosage that is recommended for you. It is best to get the recommendations from your doctor. He or she will know your medical history. This way they will be able to recommend the best suited dosage for you.
What are the medications that activated charcoal can react with?
There are some medicines that are recommended not to be used together at all. Whereas, in other cases, your doctor may decide to use two together in spite of a possible reaction. In such a case, he or she may alter or lessen your dosage.
You may be asked to take some other precautions also, if you are using any medication during breastfeeding. That is why you should always consult your healthcare professional before you start taking this medicine.
Ask your doctor what are medicines, that you maybe using, that can cause a possible interaction with activated charcoal. Remember, whatever interaction that takes place in your body, may be passed on to your baby through your breast milk. That is why, you need to be especially careful about drug interaction during this time.
What is the recommended dosage of activated charcoal while breastfeeding?
To prevent the occurrence of the possible side effects, it is essential to know the correct dosage for your case. It is best to consult with a specialist before you use this or any other medicine. As a guideline, you can follow the below recommended dosage.
However, please remember not to take this blog in lieu of professional medical advice. Consult a doctor before you start use.
|Poisoning||20 – 30 grams of activated charcoal|
|Flatulence||1 – 2 grams of activated charcoal|
Activated charcoal is available in both powder and liquid form. Standard dosage can vary from 15 grams / 72 ml, 25 grams / 120 ml, and 50 grams / 240 ml. Do not choose dosage on your own. Excessive consumption can be harmful for both you and your baby. Always get the recommendation of a trained medication professional.
Precautions for use of activated charcoal during breastfeeding
In general, consumption of activated charcoal while breastfeeding is considered to be safe. However, the risks of consuming it may outweigh its possible benefits. The impact of such alternative food items on your child health is yet to be tested. Do not start having activated charcoal on your own without consulting your doctor.
It is always best to talk to your doctor before you start any new medication. It is especially more required when you are nursing. In the first few months of life, your breast milk is your baby’s most important source of nourishment. You need to make sure you provide only the very best.