New research from Scotland found that of the 889 pregnant or post-partum women surveyed at the Royal Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, more than 45% of them reported using at least one prescription medication (not including vitamins) while pregnant. And of those, 45% also admitted to taking at least one herbal product, many doing so without their doctors’ knowledge or recommendation.
How serious a problem is this? Well, in this study, the researchers identified 32 herb/medicine combinations used by 23 women that pose what doctors deem a “moderate” risk for complications. And in another example, the combination of ginger and nifedipine was rated “potentially major”. (Combining ginger and nifedipine is well known to increase the blood-thinning effect of nifedipine.)
So why are so many women risking harm to themselves and their babies? The researchers behind this study say that most of the women did not appear to recognize the herbal products as real medications.
The study appears at the website for BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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