I've only recently heard about Flat Tummy Tea, but apparently it's the next big thing taking over the female corner of the internet. Cue all the big feels from both the lovers and the haters. I personally avoid "miracle cures" in general, but this tea has taken off so quickly among young women of childbearing age, it's got me wondering about the health of my millennial ladies and their babies. Most women know better than to try to lose weight while pregnant, but postpartum is often a different story. So is Flat Tummy Tea safe to drink while breastfeeding? I did some digging to find out.
In an interview with Romper, Registered Dietician and Nutrition Consultant Susan Stalte adamantly cautions women against drinking the tea, which claims to help you lose the bloat, while nursing. "As a nutrition expert, I absolutely would advise against Flat Tummy Tea for pregnant or breastfeeding moms simply because it's not a formally regulated product and long-term use of some of the ingredients can actually harm the body."
When a product isn't formally regulated, you'd think humans would be cautious about diving in too quickly. Unfortunately, flash-in-the-pan products like Flat Tummy Tea prove people do just the opposite, maybe especially for postpartum moms who are struggling to embrace the changes of childbearing on their bodies.
Stalte suggests that it's the allure of hope that reels women in. "This product is popular on social media because it promotes a quick fix — and who doesn't like a quick fix? However, it comes down to the fact that we don't fully know what's in this product and therefore it's best to not put baby at risk." Her advice? Care for your body the old fashioned way. "Instead of following fads, moms and moms-to-be should focus on filing their diet with whole food sources and try to cut back on any processed food filled with factory-made ingredients."
Carley Mendes, Holistic Nutritionist and Childbirth Educator, Founder of Oh Baby Nutrition and resident expert at The Tot, tells Romper her concern with Flat Tummy Tea lies in the loss of water weight. Mendes explains, "I would not recommend Flat Tummy Tea for breastfeeding mothers, as the ingredients in this tea are included to reduce water in your body, which will significantly impact your milk supply."
There are a few specific ingredients included in the published list that worry Mendes the most. "Mint (listed as Mentha Piperita) is widely known for its ability to reduce milk production," she explains, "and cleavers (listed as Galium aparine) is commonly used to relieve engorgement and can dry up a mother's milk." She also mentions that ingredients like dandelion and senna are known diuretics and can lead to dehydration even in a non-lactating individual. But as every nursing mom knows, each of those threats can be catastrophic to a breastfeeding relationship.
The fact of the matter is, the company itself warns that its products are not safe for everyone. The health disclaimer found on the Flat Tummy website says, "Results from consuming the products offered on the Site may vary from person to person. Please do not use the products available on the Site when pregnant or breastfeeding. You should consult your doctor before using the products offered on the Site, or any dietary supplement. The statements on the Site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and the products offered on the Site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."
Whether Flat Tummy Tea is an effective weight loss tool or just another ploy for some to make money off the insecurities of others is a discussion for another day. But one thing's for sure: Breastfeeding mamas, it's not worth the risk. Your beautiful bod is still nourishing your baby for awhile longer. Let it finish its job naturally.
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