Herbs and dietary supplements are in most cases seen to be a safe for use at any time. Few people realize that certain herbs and supplement while good for use on their own may have a negative effect when combined with different types of medication or for use during certain stages of life such as during pregnancy. Here are some herbs and supplements to avoid or use with caution during pregnancy:
Vitamin A, C and E
If Vitamin A supplements are taken in high dosage during pregnancy, they can result in birth defects. This is especially likely during the first trimester when the baby is just developing. High dosage of vitamin C is also dangerous for a baby as it can result in abortion. Vitamin E when taken together with Vitamin C can prevent abortions resulting from excess intake of Vitamin C.
These vitamins are essential for the health of the expectant mother and the baby, but when taken in excess, they become harmful. To deal with this, it is advisable that you get your vitamins from a healthy balanced diet. If you must take supplements, then this should be under the supervision of your doctor, to avoid any complications with your pregnancy.
Using herbs during pregnancy
Herbs are considered to be safe alternative ways of dealing with many discomforts and ailments. Hence many women turn to herbal alternatives during pregnancy to deal with any physical discomfort thinking it is a safe alternative to conventional medicine.
This is a misconception as many of these are not approved by medical regulating bodies such as the FDA. There is no way of knowing the kind of effect they can have on you and your unborn child. Some herbs can accidentally induce a miscarriage by irritating the uterus while others may lead to a premature birth by simulating contractions. Thus, any herbal remedies should be done with the guidance of your doctor.
Some herbs to avoid during pregnancy include:
- Aloe Vera – This herb may cause certain birth defects as it can interfere with the normal growth and development of the baby.
- Anise – It is commonly recommended for use in relieving nausea during pregnancy. However, it has been proven to affect hormones in a negative way capable of adversely affecting a pregnancy.
- Barberry – This herb is capable of causing contractions in the uterus leading to fetal distress and in some cases affecting the health of the baby after birth.
- Black Cohosh – This herb is capable of stimulating your hormones and uterus in a way that will lead to premature labor
These are just a few of herbs to avoid during pregnancy. It is important to stop the use of herbs during pregnancy to avoid unnecessary complications. Certain herbs such as ginger and peppermint are used in dealing with morning sickness during pregnancy, but they should be used in moderation, as well. Essential oils are the same they are strong and are easily absorbed into the body so ensure that you consult your doctor when using them. Exercise moderation when using any herb or essential oil even if you get a go ahead from your doctor as concerns their safety.