When it comes to pregnancy and herbs, caution is always advised. Some herbal supplements and teas can benefit mothers and their growing infants and might even be suggested by healthcare professionals in the field of obstetrics. Other earthy products can wreak havoc on pregnancy and cause some pretty severe woes for expecting mamas.
The controversial herbal supplement, Kratom is one that experts are begging pregnant women to steer clear of. The legal and widely available supplement has already caused withdrawal symptoms in 2 United States newborns, and medical professionals are taking notice regarding the seemingly harmless herb's adverse effects on newborns.
Kratom is derived from a plant that grows in Southeastern Asia. It is known for treating pain and curbing opioid cravings. It is also marketed to boost energy levels of people who ingest it. Kratom is sold in pill form and more commonly in teas. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 million people frequently ingest the herb here in the states. Many believe that it is time to slap a serious warning on the supplement, especially when it comes to pregnant women and certainly more research regarding the pros and cons of the plant need to be addressed.
With opioid use on the rise in our country, Kratom has become increasingly popular among some expectant mothers because it mimics the effects of opioids. Because it is "natural," women are turning to for a safer fix. The problem is, Kratom isn't as safe as they might have initially suspected. According to the Food and Drug Administration, Kratom shares similar compounds as opioids. This should be enough to scare most moms-to-be away, but those who are struggling with addiction often see it as a "Get out of Jail Free" card, literally. The mothers who delivered the addicted-looking infants hadn't used drugs in their pregnancies, but their babies showed withdrawal symptoms as if they had. Medical professionals were able to link the withdrawal effects to ingesting Kratom.
The bottom line is, always ask your healthcare provider about supplements and herbs that you are considering taking in your pregnancy. Just because it comes from the earth, doesn't automatically make it safe for mom or baby.