Herbs for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers

Over the years, I have been asked *many* questions by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers about what herbs to take and what herbs to steer clear of during these phases of womanhood.  There are already plenty of exhaustive lists of herbs *not* to take.  So, I thought I’d compile a list of some of my favorite herbs to suggest for pregnant and breast-feeding moms, as well as high-light certain types of herbs to not take.

I crowd-sourced this information from a group of herbalists (and mothers)!  Enjoy!

Herbs for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers
Compiled by Lindsay Kolasa, Community Herbalist

Herbalist Karen Vaughan suggests that, “During pregnancy, herbs generally should not be used during the first trimester except to prevent miscarriage, minimize morning sickness or to treat a condition in the mother which would endanger her or the fetus.”

Immune support herbs for pregnant women


Herbs for stress & insomnia during pregnancy (use in proper dosage)

Linden (tea)
Chamomile (tea)
Milky oats
Lemon balm (tea)
Rose (tea)

Herbs for nausea during pregnancy

Ginger (warming)
Peach leaves (cooling)
Mint (small amount)

Nutritive herbs for pregnant women (mainly infusions)

Red raspberry (some herbalists suggest to only use the 3rd trimester)
Partridge berry
Hawthorn fruit, leaf, and flower


Yellow dock (syrup)

After-birth herbs

Black haw
Partridge berry
Red raspberry

Post-partum support for mood

Milky Oats
Patridge Berry
Calendula (and good immune support)

Blood/iron building herbs for pregnant women

Yellow dock root (syrup)
Dandelion root
Butcher’s broom root
Red beets
Pork or beef liver

Herbs (or properties or herbal actions) contra-indicated for pregnant women

Over-stimulating herbs
Spasmodic herbs
Blood movers & thinners
Herbs with strong downward energy
Toxic herbs
Herbs with berberines (also during BFing)
Herbs with high alkaloids (minimal use during BFing)

Herbs contra-indicated for breastfeeding mothers (may dry up milk supply)

Culinary Sage
Black walnut
Parsley (however, some herbalists say it increases breast milk; jury’s out on this one!; apparently, parsley effects prolactin levels; anyone know more?)

Herbal allies for breastfeeding mothers (tea or infusion)

Fennel seed (sweet)
Cinnamon (sweet)
Nettles (earthy)
Fenugreek seed (slightly sweet/bitter)
Hops (bitter)
Shatavari (sweet, earthy)
Marshmallow root (sweet)
Vervain (bitter)
Rosemary (pungent)
Partridge Berry (astringent)

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