Posts Tagged ‘herbals’

9 questions to ask your provider before you get pregnant

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

There are things you can do, before you get pregnant, to help give your baby a better chance of a healthy and full-term birth. See your health care provider before pregnancy and ask about the following topics.

What do I need to know about…

1. Diabetes, high blood pressure, infections or other health problems?
2. Medicines or home remedies?
3. Taking a multivitamin pill with folic acid in it each day?
4. Getting to a healthy weight before pregnancy?
5. Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs?
6. Unsafe chemicals or other things I should stay away from at home or at work?
7. Taking care of myself and lowering my stress?
8. How long to wait between pregnancies?
9. My family history, including premature birth?

Alternative medicine and children

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Acupuncture, herbal supplements, massage, yoga, hypnosis and more . . . The list of alternative therapies is long! Which ones are OK for children? The American Academy of Pediatrics just issued a new report on this topic.

This is a complicated area. Some alternative treatments can help. Example: Studies have found that acupuncture may help relieve certain kinds of headaches. But other types of alternative medicine can be harmful. Example: The weight loss drug fen-phen has been linked to serious heart problems.

But for many alternative therapies (if not most), we simply don’t know whether they hurt, help or do nothing. Research has been very limited. And many of these treatments can be costly.

If you’re using or thinking about using an alternative treatment for your child, check with a doctor or nurse first. If you’re pregnant, do the same (see Drugs, Herbs & Dietary Supplements for more info). Together, you can talk about the pro’s and con’s of alternative medicine and decide what’s best.

A word of caution about herbal supplements: Again, we don’t have a lot of research about many of them. The March of Dimes does not support the use of herbal or dietary supplements by women who can become pregnant, by pregnant women, or by children, without approval by a health care provider. While some supplements and herbal ingredients have been tested extensively, many have not been shown to be safe or effective.

For more on this topic, check out the Web site of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. And what do you think about alternative medicine?