Herb Use in Pregnancy
Herbs can be a safe way to mange illness and ensure wellness during pregnancy. However, herbs do have side effects, can cause interactions between herbs and medications and can cause problems when not used properly. For that reason, the use of herbs should be taken as seriously as the use of medications.
Determine your need
There is often more than one way to achieve a desired result. Simple changes in diet, exercise, sleep and rest can sometimes be as effective as using a product to change the way you feel. As with any medication, be sure to evaluate the full picture of your health and lifestyle to determine if an herbal product is needed.
Get an accurate picture
Just like you would double check the safety and side effects of a medication before you take it, you should double check the safety and side effects of an herb. Do not make the mistake of assuming "natural" means "safe." Because herbs can affect the way your body works, herbs that might be OK during other parts of your life may be unsafe during pregnancy. Before you use an herb, make sure you understand what it will do and how that will affect your baby.
Because herbs do not fall under the same regulations as medications, they do not receive the same testing and will not contain the same package insert. Instead, talk to an herbalist in your community or research the herb yourself in a trusted guide.
Purchase from a respected resource
The FDA does not regulate the production of herbs, which means they do not ensure the manufacturer is providing you with the product stated on the bottle. Just as in any other industry, it is possible for unscrupulous companies to falsely advertise a product. When consumer groups investigate herb manufactures, they sometimes find the product contains doses much higher or lower than what is stated on the package. Be selective about the products you purchase, making sure to base your decision on the respect of the company and product instead of price or a sales pitch.