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Natural Herbs and Vitamins During Pregnancy

Armen Hareyan's picture

Although medicine has replaced almost every natural supplement with a synthetic substitute, there is a debate about the effectiveness of natural herbs and vitamins in providing essential nutrition to pregnant women as well as aiding in the relief of some common discomforts. Many herbalists believe that herbs are often better, cheaper and healthier than their medical counterparts. However, most medical professionals do not recommend herbal remedies for pregnant women, since safety has not been established through adequate research.

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Unlike prescription drugs, natural herbs and vitamin supplements do not have to be tested to prove they work and are safe before they are sold. As a result, the quality and strength of an herbal supplement can vary between two batches of the same product and between products from different manufacturers. Consumers have little way of knowing if a product will do what the label claims and if it is safe. In addition, reliable information about the product may be hard to find which can lead to questions on safety and effectiveness.

What are possible complications of taking herbs during pregnancy?

Although herbs are natural, not all herbs are safe to take during pregnancy. The FDA urges pregnant women not to take any herbal products without talking to their healthcare provider first. These products may contain agents that could harm the mother and the growing fetus, and cause problems with the pregnancy. Many contain substances that can cause miscarriage or premature birth, uterine contractions, injury to the fetus, or jeopardize the mother