Is Melatonin compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Melatonin?


December 29, 2014 (Very Low Risk)

Hormone secreted by Pineal gland which exerts its function by regulating the Circadian pattern of sleeping. It is naturally found in the mother's milk.

The level of Melatonin in the plasma and breast milk increases by night. It is believed that helps to organize the sleep - awake cycle in breastfed newborns and infants.

It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and, it is found in many foods, either vegetable or animal in origin (meat, fish), eggs, wine and beer.

On latest update, no relevant published data related to breastfeeding were found, however, known side-effects are mild and few. It is being used for co-treatment of several conditions in newborn infants and prematures, with good tolerance in spite of higher doses than those excreted in the breast milk.


We do not have alternatives for Melatonin since it is relatively safe.

Very Low Risk

Compatible. Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

High Risk

Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully. Use a safer alternative. Read the Comment.

Very High Risk

Not recommended. Cessation of breastfeeding or alternative.


  • メラトニン
  • N-Acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine


  1. Amer MR, Cipriano GC, Venci JV, Gandhi MA. Safety of Popular Herbal Supplements in Lactating Women. J Hum Lact. 2015Abstract
  2. Tan DX, Zanghi BM, Manchester LC, Reiter RJ. Melatonin identified in meats and other food stuffs: potentially nutritional impact. J Pineal Res. 2014Abstract
  3. Merchant NM, Azzopardi DV, Hawwa AF, McElnay JC, Middleton B, Arendt J, Arichi T, Gressens P, Edwards AD. Pharmacokinetics of melatonin in preterm infants. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013Abstract
  4. Gitto E, Marseglia L, Manti S, D'Angelo G, Barberi I, Salpietro C, Reiter RJ. Protective role of melatonin in neonatal diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013Abstract
  5. Cohen Engler A, Hadash A, Shehadeh N, Pillar G. Breastfeeding may improve nocturnal sleep and reduce infantile colic: potential role of breast milk melatonin. Eur J Pediatr. 2012Abstract
  6. EMA. Melatonina. Ficha técnica. 2012 Full text (in our servers)
  7. EMA. Melatonin. Drug Summary. 2012 Full text (in our servers)
  8. Sánchez-Barceló EJ, Mediavilla MD, Reiter RJ. Clinical uses of melatonin in pediatrics. Int J Pediatr. 2011Abstract
  9. Chen LH, Zeind C, Mackell S, LaPointe T, Mutsch M, Wilson ME. Breastfeeding travelers: precautions and recommendations. J Travel Med. 2010Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. DeMuro RL, Nafziger AN, Blask DE, Menhinick AM, Bertino JS Jr. The absolute bioavailability of oral melatonin. J Clin Pharmacol. 2000Abstract
  11. Fourtillan JB, Brisson AM, Gobin P, Ingrand I, Decourt JP, Girault J. Bioavailability of melatonin in humans after day-time administration of D(7) melatonin. Biopharm Drug Dispos. 2000Abstract
  12. Nice FJ, Snyder JL, Kotansky BC. Breastfeeding and over-the-counter medications. J Hum Lact. 2000Abstract
  13. Illnerová H, Buresová M, Presl J. Melatonin rhythm in human milk. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993Abstract