Herbal Allies For Pregnant Women

Most women would agree that drugs are to be avoided during pregnancy. Many over the counter remedies, especially antihistamines, acne medicines, and laxatives, have been shown to cause birth defects in animals or humans. Antibiotics may cause fetal abnormalities and sulfur drugs can cause neo-natal jaundice. Tranquilizers and painkillers can cause birth defects and addict the fetus. Antacids can cause muscle problems in the baby and edema in the mother. (In addition, they mess up a woman’s calcium metabolism; see discussion following.) Legal Steroids Europe

And it is well accepted that the drug-like actions of alcohol, tobacco, and coffee are best avoided both before conception, during pregnancy, and while lactating.

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Few women, however, understand that vitamin/mineral supplements are more drug-like than food-like. Though they are widely recommended, even by orthodox MDs, supplements are problematic for pregnant women and ought to be avoided. A study of 23,000 pregnant women, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine (1995) found 4.8 times more birth defects among the children of women who consumed 10,000 IU or more of vitamin A in supplemental form. And if that isn’t enough to make you hesitate before reaching for the pills, consider this: the amount of iron in four prenatal-formula tablets can kill a child under the age of three.

In addition to drugs and supplements, many common herbal remedies, including golden seal, and flax seed are best avoided during the weeks of gestation. See below for herbs that may be problematic during pregnancy.

Nevertheless, there are many simple, safe home and herbal remedies available to ease the discomforts of pregnancy. The remedies of wise women, or “old wives,” have persisted for centuries, passed from woman to woman. They are not strict protocols designed to work with the greatest possible number of women. Rather, they are part of the ever-changing wisdom ways of women, meant to be applied to the unique individual in unique and ever-changing ways. Although they have not been subjected to double blind studies, they are not superstition and dumb custom, but the results of millions of careful observations over thousands of generations. These remedies are the gifts of our foremothers. They are gifts from women who were deeply intuitive, immersed in day-to-day practice, and in tune with women’s needs – emotional and spiritual, as well as physical.

Wise women believe that most of the problems of pregnancy can be prevented by attention to nutrition. Morning sickness and mood swings are connected to low blood sugar; backaches and severe labor pains often result from insufficient calcium; and varicose veins, hemorrhoids, constipation, skin discolorations and anemias are also related to lack of specific nutrients.

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