While you’re pregnant, it’s best to avoid drugs altogether if you can. Even painkillers like paracetamol could pose some risks, so there’s plenty of scope for the gentler, more food-like herbs to get to work. While some herbs are not recommended, there is still a wealth of choice.
If you are at risk of early miscarriage, Vitex agnus-castus can help the placenta to establish itself, and Viburnum opulus (Cramp Bark) can help prevent premature labour. So-called ‘morning sickness’ can take various forms, but often the aromatic herbs like Mint or Ginger can help, and Chamomile or Meadowsweet tea can ease indigestion at any stage of pregnancy.
As the pregnancy develops, your circulation increases by 50%, and your joints and ligaments get looser. This can lead to various aches and pains, but it’s best to steer clear of painkillers if you can
Try a soak in a hot bath followed by a cold splash. Rubbing oil of lavender into aching joints can help too. In fact, gentle massage is a lovely relaxing thing at any time. Using a vitamin E cream on your tummy can help to avoid stretch marks and, if you put a little on your perineum in the last stages, it may help prevent tears during labour.
You’ve probably heard of Raspberry Leaf tea. It’s a gentle uterine tonic, and helps to ensure an efficient labour when the time comes. You don’t need to start it more than a month or so before the baby is due, and you can carry on drinking it after the birth to help your uterus to return to normal. Mix it with other teas like Chamomile, Limeflowers or Ginger so that you don’t get tired of the taste.