We go to herbs to boost our fertility, so why not rely on them throughout pregnancy? I know there’s a lot of caution out there about taking anything while you’re pregnant—from herbs to food to prescription drugs. As a general rule of thumb, this caution is good. Always check the safety of a product before you take it.
However, also keep in mind that there is a lot of mainstream over-caution around herbs and pregnancy. Women have been taking herbs to ease morning sickness, protect and ease skin as it stretches, and to facilitate birth for, well, forever (more or less...).
But—you are the one responsible for your own health. Do your research; talk to your midwife, doula, or herbalist (one who knows you and your medical history) before starting on any new regime.
Here are some herbs to take throughout pregnancy:
Herbs to soothe morning sickness & nausea
Ah, the seemingly inevitable morning sickness… Nausea is usually due to hormonal fluctuations, low blood sugar, and nutrition needs. To ease the discomfort and to help support the liver and the hormonal system, try any or all of the following: meadowsweet, dandelion root, fennel seed, and/or chamomile.
These herbs can be combined in a tea to sip on when nausea sets in. Take a quart jar and combine one tablespoon of each herb. Pour boiling water over the herbs, stir and steep for fifteen minutes. Strain. You can store this jar in the fridge—just drink it within a few days.
You can also try capsules of the above herbs, trying one at a time to see if one is more effective for you. Warm ginger root tea can also help. It doesn’t work for everyone, so try it and see if it works for you. If not, discontinue use. Also try eating easily digested food such as yogurt, miso soup, barley, slippery elm bark powder, and rice.
Herbs for general health & nutrition during pregnancy
For general health, nutrition, and balance throughout pregnancy, you can drink 3 to 4 cups of a tea containing red raspberry leaves, alfalfa, nettle, and red clover.
You can also use cramp bark and wild yam as miscarriage inhibitors, especially if you experience spotting during the first trimester. Use as a tincture, 1tsp per dose, twice daily, 3 days a week. Just be sure to use these two herbs under the guidance of your natural health practitioner.
Exhausted? Eat nourishing foods and rest. Drink dandelion root tea or nettle tea (or tincture) 2-3x per day.
Herbs for the skin
To avoid stretch marks and uncomfortable itching as the baby (and the belly) grows, try a body oil such as the following: