Breastfeeding and herbal preparations

Herbal preparations and breastfeeding

While we often assume that herbal or ‘natural’ remedies are harmless, this is not always true. Herbal preparations are not required to have the same level of testing and proof that they work as do prescription medicines. As a result, we know less about their side effects during breastfeeding. Some are known to be quite safe. Others have been shown to contain components that may not be safe. It’s a good idea to do your homework before you take any herbs, especially if you are taking them at the same time as prescription medicines.

For current information about the use of medicines/drugs during breastfeeding (or pregnancy), contact the Medicines Information Centres in your state or the NPS Medicines Line. The numbers are listed below.

Most centres operate during normal business hours. If a call is urgent and outside these hours, ring the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 (all states & territories).

Mother’s location


Telephone (BH)


Medicines Information Centre, Canberra Hospital

02 6244 3333


MotherSafe, Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick

02 9382 6539

1800 647 848

(NSW country)


NPS Medicines Line

1300 633 424


Medicines Information Centre, Women’s and Children’s Hospital

08 8161 7222


Medicines Information Centre, Royal Hobart Hospital (Mon-Thu)

NPS Medicines Line (Fri)

03 6222 8737

1300 633 424


Medicines Information Centre. Monash Medical Centre

03 9594 2361


Medicines Information Centre, Royal Women’s Hospital

03 8345 3190


Women & Newborn Health Services (KEMH)

08 9340 2723

All states & territories

NPS Medicines Line (9 am-5 pm AEST)

1300 633 424


Poisons Information is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week on 13 11 26 (all states & territories)

Last reviewed: 
Aug 2014