Moms everywhere: we salute you. Pregnancy is definitely not easy. But what a gift it is to bring another human being into our world!
For centuries, people have used herbs to help ease labor pains and boost overall health and wellness before, during, and after birth.
If you’re wondering how you can make pregnancy more manageable — in as healthy a way as possible — consider these all-natural herbs and foods. We’ll share with you our favorite healing herbs for pregnancy and the three herbs to avoid during pregnancy.
Recommendations with herbal doses during pregnancy
While modern medicine often uses synthetic drugs as a way to help live well during each stage of pregnancy, many people don’t realize that natural herbs — both in food, tablet, tea, and infusion form — can offer relief from the discomforts of childbirth and help support a healthy pregnancy.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about whether herbs can be used as part of your overall plan to soothe pregnancy discomfort. The great news is that they can.
But since each body responds differently, we recommend consulting with your herbal medicine specialist, trusted physician, midwife, and/or healthcare provider to determine the right dose of herbs for your needs.
By seeking out an herbalist’s opinion — and consulting your trusted healthcare professional — you’ll be able to find the right blend of herbs to ensure your childbirth goes off without a hitch, is safe, healthy, and as smooth as possible.
Risks and recommendations for enjoying herbs during pregnancy
Who would we be if we didn’t mention safety recommendations for using herbs during pregnancy? The way people use herbs can change how safe herbs are to consume.
We recommend always checking the dose size, and reaching out to your healthcare provider if in doubt.
Pregnant women: opt for quality, fresh, and approved natural herbal supplements and companies. In terms of safe herbs to consume, you’ll discover which herbs make the cut in the next section.
7 delicious and healthy herbs for pregnant women
Now that you know how to find the best herbs for pregnancy on the market, let’s turn our attention to the seven best, most delicious, and healthy herbs (and foods) for pregnant women:
- Red raspberry leaf
- Peppermint leaf
- Slippery elm bark
- Oats and oat straw
- Senna seed
Red raspberry leaf
Red raspberry leaf is an herbal bomb packed with minerals and vitamins that support healthy pregnancy, help tone the uterus, and help support childbirth. This mineral-rich tonic is packed with fragrine, an organic compound responsible for helping protect the health of the uterus.
Consider drinking a steaming mug of red raspberry tea to help with morning sickness. Alternatively, you can also consume this herb in tincture form.
Many people have also said they found red raspberry leaf helpful in improving the health of alveoli ducts, the body parts that play a role in creating breast milk. Whether you or a loved one is dealing with morning sickness, nausea, or discomfort from pregnancy, this powerful leaf provides a wealth of benefits for many pregnancy-related symptoms and side effects.
Known to many as a breath freshener or even as a natural protector against disease-carrying insects, did you know that peppermint can also help relieve nausea and stomach discomfort? This gentle herbal remedy is often used in the first trimester of birth to help ease uncomfortable sensations and common discomforts arising from nausea and flatulence.
Peppermint can help ease discomfort from vomiting from morning sickness. In addition to relieving discomforts, peppermint leaves are also great for reducing stress.
Try brewing a soothing cup of tea, or reach out to your local herbalist to learn about other recipes that use peppermint leaves.
Slippery elm bark
Known to help horses, dogs, and humans (just like you and me), slippery elm is a true miracle worker. This herb is great for helping with the GI tract and digestive system — particularly with constipation and irregular bowel movements.
But did you know that slippery elm can also help with other parts of the body during pregnancy? Many pregnancy-related discomforts can be treated to a sweet reprieve with the help of a slippery-elm-infused tonic.
The inner bark of slippery elm can also be used in various cooking recipes to make everything from cough drops to porridges to ice creams and smoothies. Expecting moms: if you’re looking for something to nourish your body, consider a homemade slippery-elm-infused recipe for your next snack.
Oats and oat straw
More of a food than an herb, oat and oat straw can help with those restless, anxious nights. When applied topically, it can also help with irritated skin.
Oats are high in calcium and magnesium and can be very helpful with milk production for pregnant mothers. The greatest part is that oats and oat straw aren’t hard to find.
Head on over to your local grocery store, and you’ll find a variety of oat products to suit your needs. Try oats in baked goods, in a fall-flavored tea, or even as a morning breakfast cereal.
Senna was first believed to be cultivated in the Arabian Peninsula and Middle Eastern countries near Somalia, Egypt, and Sudan. This plant-based snack has since been exported, and you can now find it growing in the heart of the United States, Canada, and other countries.
Known for its laxative effect, senna seeds can help with many pregnancy symptoms. Try it mixed in tea, or for those with a more hearty appetite, add a dash to your favorite wok or pan-seared entreé.
Ginger — and ginger root — are probably some of the most well-known herbs for helping treat pregnancy symptoms and conditions. You know how your friend is always harping about drinking ginger ale for an upset stomach?
Well, it’s true. Ginger can help aid digestion.
That’s because ginger contains crime-fighting antioxidants that are great for the immune system. Plus, it’s also a miracle worker for joints and bones.
Ginger is incredibly malleable. Try ginger candies, concentrates, capsules, teas, and other delicious ginger-based treats to aid the health of your digestive system.
With all things herbs-related, ginger is best consumed in small amounts and in good health.
Though these herbs often get a bad rap, nettles are a surprisingly great source of iron, magnesium, and vitamin C (despite their rough prickly complexion). To reap the rewards of this life-nourishing herb, try blanching, sautéing, and cooking them in a delicious meal.
Nettles are wonderful for helping with muscle aches and leg cramps, and they may even aid with breastfeeding. A word of caution: make sure to cook nettles before consuming, as they can sting and irritate the skin if touched in their raw form.
Herbs to avoid during pregnancy
Even the most soothing herbs can be harmful in the wrong hands and for people with certain life-threatening conditions. Similarly, depending on how your pregnancy is progressing, whether you’re in your second and third trimester, or if you have a life-threatening condition, it may be unsafe to try certain herbs.
The following herbs are unsafe during all stages of pregnancy:
- Certain green and black teas
If you’re considering trying these herbs, we recommend consulting with your physician, midwife, herbalist, or trusted healthcare professional of choice to determine if these herbs offer nutritional value to you. There’s likely a healthier substitute on the market that can offer relaxation and a more pleasant experience during pregnancy.
Fortunately, there’s a world of herbs out there waiting to be discovered and consumed. You’ll find plenty of herbs that can contribute to your health and vitality before, during, and after pregnancy.
Healthy pregnancies start with healthy living
Whether you’re having trouble sleeping, having issues with your liver, or even have a small muscle spasm or infection, you can have a smoother pregnancy by opting to live a healthier life.
Here’s the good news: herb-based nutrition can help. That’s right: buying large amounts of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs doesn't have to be your only game plan or choice for morning sickness and nausea.
Whether you opt for a lemon balm tea or a baked pumpkin treat rich in vitamin K and potassium, life-nourishing herbs can play a role in your overall pregnancy game plan.
If you’re looking for support before, during, or after pregnancy — or want to learn how herbs can benefit you — don’t hesitate to reach out to us any time. We’d be happy to explore your options with you.
From the entire team at Silver Lining Herbs, may you enjoy a beautiful life with your new little one!