Is stevia ok while breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 12-08-2009, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all. Just wondering if anyone knows if its ok to use stevia while breastfeeding. .thanks..

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#2 of 14 Old 12-08-2009, 10:49 PM
 
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Ok, just my opinion here: I think you should be asking is it safe at all? I look back at the history of artifical sweeteners (aspartame, equal, splenda etc..) and it seems that none of them were really as "safe" as "they" led us to believe. I always say to stick with the real thing: you shouldn't eat very much of it anyway- using the real thing often keeps us from overdoing the amount we use

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#3 of 14 Old 12-08-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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Hale doesn't have any info on Stevia, but does say that it has been used as a natural sweetener in South America for many centuries, and therefore doubts that it is a problem.
http://neonatal.ttuhsc.edu/discus/me...tml?1088690154
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#4 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagodafish View Post
Ok, just my opinion here: I think you should be asking is it safe at all? I look back at the history of artifical sweeteners (aspartame, equal, splenda etc..) and it seems that none of them were really as "safe" as "they" led us to believe. I always say to stick with the real thing: you shouldn't eat very much of it anyway- using the real thing often keeps us from overdoing the amount we use
except, stevia isn't an artificial sweetener. It's a plant, and is totally safe.

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#5 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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Wow, I guess the Stevia support group meets here. Sorry.

(Splenda was "made from sugar" and that didn't pan out....And High-fructose corn syrup is a "natural sweetener"....)

I'm just suggesting that marketing is tricky and it's ok to question what it is you're actually eating.

I guess if the FDA says it's safe- go for it.

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#6 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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Actually, the FDA didn't approve it for a loooong time, because of the money they get from the companies who make artificial sweeteners. You had to get it from the health food/supplement store, and they had to label it as a supplement instead of a sweetener.

Stevia isn't like splenda and hfcs, which are so far removed from their sources. It's merely a basic herbal extract.

I don't know that the snark is really called for, btw.

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#7 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 03:40 AM
 
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Yep, Stevia is totally safe... not comparable to "artificial sweeteners" at all. I buy mine at the natural food/health store in town.

Andi - roller derby, slave to the hoop, birth junkie, lover of love, single mama of 4
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#8 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 04:06 AM
 
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ahhh, yes. Late-night-post-partum-posting. Sarcasm doesn't read well and I forgot. My apology Corasmama.

Jen,
If you are already convinced that the Stevia brand sweetener is safe then further research probably isn't for you. If you are interested here is a jumping off point:
http://safety.lovetoknow.com/Dangers_of_Stevia
This site has both pros and cons. Refreshing. I was particularly concerned about the reproductive damages found in studies.

Also, just because something is a plant does not mean it is totally safe. That is strange logic. I can think of hundreds of plants that would kill you if you ate them. Just because something is derived from a plant does not make it all-natural. There is a process used to get the plant from the dirt to the packet on your table. (Also, Stevia brand contains erythritol- that's a sugar substitute) If you are growing it your backyard and using it in it's natural form- like it had been for centuries- then knock yourself out!
http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/questions/stevia.html

If you are using it for a legit medical reason that's great that you have the option. However, if you just want to cut calories then do that. Skip the fads. We never could trick nature, never will.


ETA: Sorry to take this way off track- you asked about BFing and it's safety, not it's safety in general.

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#9 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 04:26 AM
 
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what "brand" are you talking about? Stevia isn't a brand, and my stevia (sweetleaf brand) doesn't contain erythritol.

My point was that it's a simple extract. I know that plant != safe. But centuries of safe use can!

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Welcome to baby Fiona with a giant omphalocele, 6/17/10!
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#10 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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FWIW, my son has medicine for his reflux. It tastes HORRIBLE - so bad he was spitting it up right away and not keeping it down. So we started getting it sweetened/flavored at a compounding pharmacy, and they sweeten it with stevia rather than sugar - it's evidently considered safe for a baby to get stevia directly, so I can't imagine it's a problem to get traces through breastmilk!
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#11 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 09:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagodafish View Post
Wow, I guess the Stevia support group meets here. Sorry.

(Splenda was "made from sugar" and that didn't pan out....And High-fructose corn syrup is a "natural sweetener"....)

I'm just suggesting that marketing is tricky and it's ok to question what it is you're actually eating.

I guess if the FDA says it's safe- go for it.
Stevia is a plant, and you can actually just buy the plant and eat the leaves as the sweetener. No extracting or chemical processes whatsoever. I had a plant and I used to brew tea with it. You just use the leaves as they are like you said.

Also, it is not a brand.
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#12 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone. I should have explained better. Im not trying to cut calories, never have used anything but sugar to sweeten, but I just ordered some liquid ionic calcium for myself and it says it contains stevia. I would only be taking probaby a 1/2 tbsp per day so Im guessing it probably wouldnt affect breastmilk at all but I just wanted to get some opinions....
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#13 of 14 Old 12-09-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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I used stevia as part of my rasp leaf tea mix all through pregnancy with the approval of my midwife (hence I assume it is fine now that the baby is born,too). I bought actual dried stevia leaves from the bulk herb section. Didn't realize anyone was selling processed packaged versions.

Mamma since 10/22/09
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#14 of 14 Old 12-10-2009, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks watershippy.. There is a stevia that is sold in a similar package to artificial sweetners now
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