Being a new mom and getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t go hand to hand. Some lucky moms might get to enjoy their sleep. Plus, those who were prepared and made a schedule for feeding their baby get proper sleep. On the other hand, some ladies have generous husbands that share the duty so ladies can enjoy their sleep. Taking melatonin might be helpful if you have none of these or can’t sleep, no matter what. However, the big question is, can you take melatonin while breastfeeding? Let’s find out.
What is Melatonin?
Many people might consider melatonin a medicine, but it is a natural product in plants and animals. It is a hormone that animals release at night and helps control the sleep and wake cycle. So, in simple words, if you have a messed-up sleep cycle, melatonin can help get it back on track.
On the other hand, you can also get melatonin in dietary supplements, but those supplements might not be useful for sleep. Issues like jet lag or insomnia can be controlled using melatonin supplements.
Will Melatonin Passes Through the Breast Milk?
Since your body naturally produces melatonin, it goes to your breast milk. However, taking melatonin via supplements in more quantities won’t pass into your breast milk. Moreover, it is harmless to the baby as long as your breastmilk contains a meagre amount.
When Will Babies Start Making Melatonin?
Your baby will rely on you for every little thing for the first three months. Even for sleep, they’ll need your help so you can move them around, pat them, or sing them lullabies to sleep. However, after three months, they start developing melatonin, and once they do, they’ll have an easy time sleeping.
One study suggested that babies usually get melatonin from mothers via breastmilk, which is why they sleep a lot. If that is the case, then melatonin in small doses is good for babies as they’ll get used to it when their bodies start creating melatonin.
However, using melatonin supplements and breastfeeding your baby might bring some harm. Some studies have suggested that using melatonin in higher doses can harm your baby and might mess up their sleeping schedule. If that happens, good luck trying to calm your baby so they can sleep.
Since babies have poor immunity, it will take time for melatonin to leave their bodies. That time might vary based on your baby, which could be around 48-72 hours.
Advantages of Melatonin for Mothers
Here are some benefits of taking melatonin. However, these benefits are for mothers only; the child might not get the same benefits for the first four months.
- Melatonin Is Good for Sleep
Melatonin is also known as the sleep hormone, and it is quite the right name. It helps sleep aids and is a natural remedy to treat issues like insomnia. However, you might need to use melatonin supplements to help you correct your sleep schedule. Your body makes enough melatonin, but lack of sleep and rest can disturb its balance.
Some studies have also claimed that melatonin can reduce the time one takes to fall asleep. So, get a melatonin supplement if you ever have issues while sleeping.
- Can Help Reduce Seasonal Depression’s Symptoms
More than 10% of the world’s population is affected by seasonal depression, which is still rising. It is concerning to see that so many people have melatonin deficiency and are not taking proper remedies to get rid of it.
Typically, people start facing this depression as the fall season starts, which happens yearly. Some researchers state that this happens because of changes in a circadian rhythm as seasonal light changes. Melatonin plays a role in regulating circadian rhythm; it is obvious that you’ll face weird changes with the changes in sunlight. The only complication is that such studies are not quite accurate because of their small scale. So the chances of you feeling the effects of seasonal changes might not be true.
Here are some other benefits of taking melatonin:
- May increase levels of human growth hormone
- Can promote eye health
- It may help treat GERD
Also see: How to Combine Breastfeeding and Pumping
Right Dosage of Melatonin While Breastfeeding
Finding the right dosage for your body to avoid getting any side effects while taking melatonin is better. There is no official dosage, so you might need help from your doctor. On average, an adult can 1 to 5 milligrams, but as you are nursing your child, it is better to consult your physician.
Alternatives to Melatonin
There is no need to use melatonin exclusively for issues like sleep or depression. You can use other ways to get better results without affecting your child’s life. Most of the time, you are not tiring your body enough, which is why you are sleepless. Moreover, your diet plays an important role in this, as deficiency of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can also cause this problem. So, here are some alternatives you can adapt to get better results.
- Exercise regularly: Grab a stroller, put your baby inside and go for a walk. If you feel like you are fine jogging, go for it. Exercise can help you get in better shape and sleep better.
- Constant Bedtime Routine: Make sure to follow a strict bedtime routine so your body adapts to the changes.
- Don’t Use Caffeine Until Your Breastfeeding Is Over: Skip the coffee and other caffeine products. This is one of the biggest reasons your body gets an energy boost, and you don’t have a proper way to get rid of that energy.
- Stay Away From Electronics Before Bed: If you have a sleep schedule, it is better to turn off all the bulbs and other electronics an hour before you go to bed. This will help you relax, and you can sleep better.
- Keep It Cool and Dark: Make sure the atmosphere is cool, so you can take a blanket and elf warm to get a good night’s sleep. However, don’t take the temperature to lower than 20 degrees Celsius, as your baby will feel irritated.