Health Policy Statement for women’s health/OB/GYN practitioners of Hospital “X”
A significant number of women use herbal products both during pregnancy and while nursing, there are indications that the use of herbal products is increasing globally (Kennedy, Lupattelli, Koren, & Nordeng, 2016).
A central component of a patient centered approach to wellness is patient preference. The hospital also acknowledges that in many cases botanical interventions are a compelling choice compared with pharmaceutical interventions.
When assessing the appropriateness of phytotherapeutic interventions for pregnant or lactating patients the following guidelines are recommended:
- Patients are advised to fully disclose any supplements or herbs they are taking, and consult with staff member before beginning any new course of herbs during all trimesters of pregnancy as well as during the period the patient is nursing.
- The quality and provenance of herbs or supplements is a central component of ensuring a comprehensive safety assessment so it is advised that clients disclose the specific products and brands they are using or considering using. This extends to homeopathic remedies and flower essences.
- As a general guideline herb or supplement use during the first trimester is discouraged.
- There are many routes in which herbs can affect fetuses, newborns, and nursing infants so it is advised that patients fully disclose botanical products and supplements that are taken internally or topically throughout the course of their pregnancy and/or nursing period
- The hospital is in the process of drawing up a list of common botanical products that are generally considered safe based on a polity of primary and secondary sources for the following conditions:
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Hypertension / Preeclampsia
- Uterine irritability
- Preterm labor
- Lactation promotion
- This list is intended to serve as a tool for Doctors and is not intended to supersede or replace expert medical opinion.
Kennedy, D. A., Lupattelli, A., Koren, G., & Nordeng, H. (2016). Safety classification of herbal medicines used in pregnancy in a multinational study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-016-1079-z