Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of herbal drugs by pregnant women in relation to concurrent use of conventional drugs, delivery, and pregnancy outcome.
Method: 600 women at Stavanger University Hospital Norway were interviewed using a structured questionnaire within five days after delivery. Medical birth charts were reviewed with respect to pregnancy outcome.
Results: In all, 39.7% of the women reported having used herbal drugs during pregnancy, most commonly ginger, iron-rich herbs, echinacea and cranberry. Although 86.3% of the women reported having used conventional drugs during pregnancy there were few potential interactions between herbal drugs and conventional drugs. There was a significant association between the use of iron-rich herbs during pregnancy and high birthweight, and use of raspberry leaves and caesarean delivery.
Conclusion: Use of herbal drugs is common during pregnancy and indicates a need for documentation about their safety in pregnancy.
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