Many women today are interested in getting away from drugs and using natural herbs instead during their pregnancies. Although numerous herbs are very safe and beneficial when taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, it is still important to talk with your healthcare provider or doctor before taking any natural herbs.
Just because they are natural does not mean they are always safe for pregnant mothers and babies. It is also advisable to consult an experienced, trained professional or herbalist if you want to take herbs and vitamins instead of drugs during your pregnancy. Pregnant women that do choose to use natural herbs should purchase only reputable, standardized products and not necessarily the least expensive herbs on the market. Talk to your natural health care provider or herbalist because they can often supply you with better quality prenatal herbs and vitamins.
Prenatal Herbs Usually Considered Safe for Expectant Mothers
Here is a list of some of the many natural herbs used during pregnancy that herbalists consider safe for most expectant mothers.
• Red Raspberry Leaf – A natural herb often taken during the second and third trimester of a pregnancy, red raspberry leaf is rich in iron. Many health care providers are cautious and do not recommend using this herb during the first trimester due to some controversy about its safety. Red raspberry leaves help decrease stomach distress, nausea and morning sickness. By toning the uterus, it helps stop postpartum hemorrhage and miscarriage due to an atonic or relaxed uterus. Expectant mothers taking raspberry leaf herbs find it often alleviates pains during and after labor. It is also one of the best herbs used during pregnancy for increasing the production of breast milk. Some studies have shown that using red raspberry leaf often reduces birth interventions and complications. Brewed as an infusion or tea, it is one of the safest, most commonly used of all pregnancy and uterine tonic herbs. Red raspberry tea used regularly throughout the last six months of pregnancy is an excellent herb that provides women with a nourishing source of minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A, B, E and C, iron and calcium. Red raspberry leaves also contain many minerals including potassium and phosphorous. To make red raspberry tea, fill a one-quart jar with boiling water, add approximately one ounce of dried leaves and cap tightly. Strain out the red raspberry leaves after four hours and drink the tea cold or hot with whatever you like in it, such as honey. Put any leftover tea in the refrigerator for later.
• Ginger Root – This is an excellent prenatal herb, which quells morning sickness, nausea and motion sickness. Ginger also helps prevent constipation, lowers blood pressure, and relieves intestinal gas and cramping. It helps keep pelvic muscles toned and warmed along with aiding in digestion during pregnancy.
• Chamomile – An excellent herb for expectant mothers, chamomile helps reduce joint inflammation, calms anxious nerves and helps with sleeplessness. It is high in both magnesium and calcium.
• Peppermint Leaf – During pregnancy, this herb helps relieve morning sickness, nausea and flatulence.
• Oat Straw and Oats – Rich in magnesium and calcium, oats help relieve irritated skin, restlessness and anxiety in expectant mothers.
• Alfalfa – A beneficial herb used during pregnancy, alfalfa contains multiple vitamins, minerals and enzymes along with vitamin K, which contains blood-clotting properties.
Using Herbs Wisely During Pregnancy
Many women look and feel terrific during pregnancy, with high energy levels, hair that shines and skin that glows. Along with positive attributes, some expectant mothers also experience nausea, sore muscles, constipation, fatigue and other uncomfortable symptoms. For centuries now, pregnant women have used certain herbs to help relieve prenatal discomfort. It is important for pregnant women to take a cautious approach and learn what herbal remedies are safe under most conditions along with the herbs that they should avoid. Because every person is unique, it is difficult to know the exact effect each type of herb can have so always start by taking only small doses. If you do not experience any adverse effects then slowly increase the dosage. It is important to consult your healthcare provider or herbalist before taking or starting herb treatments during pregnancy to avoid any harm or unnecessary risk to yourself or your unborn child.