CLA and Breastfeeding

It is probably safe for women who are breastfeeding to consume CLA when it is obtained through food sources (such as dairy and meat products). However, it is not known if it is safe for women who are breastfeeding to take man-made CLA supplements (which can have different amounts of the various CLA forms). Therefore, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking CLA and breastfeeding at the same time.

An Overview of CLA and Breastfeeding

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is probably safe for women who are breastfeeding (and their infants) if obtained through food sources (usually dairy and meats). However, it is not known if CLA supplements are equally safe for use during breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding and you are considering taking CLA, make sure to let your healthcare provider know.

CLA and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Synthetic (man-made) CLA usually contains different levels of the various CLA forms ("isomers") compared to those found in naturally occurring CLA. There is some evidence that these man-made CLA versions may be more likely to cause side effects and other problems. CLA supplements have never been studied in any women who were breastfeeding. Also, CLA is often used in a "blend" of many different herbal products, most of which have not been shown to be safe for women to take when breastfeeding.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About CLA and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about CLA and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about CLA and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
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