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It is not known if GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is safe for use while breastfeeding. Because this supplement may affect the levels of various hormones, nursing women are typically advised to avoid GABA. Breastfeeding women should talk to a healthcare provider about the potential risks of GABA use in their particular situation.

An Overview of Breastfeeding and GABA

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It is also available as a dietary supplement used for a variety of different purposes. It is not known if GABA supplementation is safe for use while breastfeeding. Therefore, it is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider (or your child's healthcare provider) before taking GABA while breastfeeding.

Is GABA Safe While Breastfeeding?

There is no evidence that GABA is either safe or unsafe for women who are breastfeeding. A few small studies have suggested that GABA supplementation may affect the levels of various hormones, including human growth hormone (HGH), insulin, prolactin, and glucagon. It is not a good idea for a breastfeeding woman to take a supplement that may affect hormone levels, except in specific cases.
Breastfeeding often limits the prescription and nonprescription drugs that a woman can take. As a result, women often seek safe alternatives, sometimes assuming that dietary supplements are always safe. This is simply not the case. Dietary supplements can be marketed in the United States without any evidence that they are safe or even effective. It should never be assumed that dietary supplements are automatically safe for women who are breastfeeding.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider

You should talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding and GABA. 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, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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