Pregnant moms have been using natural remedies for as long as there have been moms, but some may be more effective than others, and – like any natural remedy – some may be dangerous during pregnancy, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re dealing with.
Are natural remedies safe?
“Natural remedies” describes a wide group of treatments, so their safety has to be evaluated individually rather than as a whole. You should speak with you healthcare provider first before beginning any regimen of a natural remedy to help manage your symptoms.
What are some common “safe” natural remedies?
- Morning sickness/nausea: Among the most common symptoms of early pregnancy, morning sickness can be disruptive all day long, and can really interfere with all aspects of life, like proper eating, exercise, and comfort. As there are very few, if any, prescription drugs that are universally agreed to safely combat morning sickness, most moms battling it will opt for natural remedies. While exercise and proper hydration may be able to help, women battling morning sickness may also want to look into ginger and Vitamin B6 supplements, as these are both known to help reduce feelings of nausea. The FDA has also recently approved a morning sickness drug, known as Diclegis that combines Vitamin B6 with doxylamine succinate to help manage morning sickness. These ingredients are both available over-the-counter, but you should speak with your healthcare provider before taking a remedy like this.
- Heartburn: Some heartburn medications may be unsafe during pregnancy, so many women prefer to treat theirs naturally. Some believe that honey may help relieve the discomfort of acid reflux and heartburn, but a simple adjustment in diet towards more fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats, and drinking more water, may help treat the source of the problem. It may also help to avoid caffeine, spicy foods, and late night eating.
- Constipation/hemorrhoids: Like many other medications, those that treat constipation and hemorrhoids may not necessarily be safe for pregnancy, so many will prefer to treat these naturally. Maintaining a diet that is high in fiber will help you stay regular, battling against both constipation and hemorrhoids. Soaking in a Sitz bath can help deal with the discomfort of hemorrhoids if they have already appeared. Using witch hazel may also help you deal with any hemorrhoids.
Although there are many natural remedies out there that are perfectly safe and helpful, you should always speak with your healthcare provider before using any as some, particularly herbals, may be unsafe for you or Baby.
Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Morning Sickness: FAQ126.” ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 10/12/2015. Web.
- Liz Neporent. “FDA Approves Morning Sickness Drug Once Feared Unsafe.” ABC News. ABC News, 4/9/2013. Web.