Post # 1
Does anyone have any knowledge or advice regarding the “gentle prenatal blend” in trader joe’s prenatal vitamins? I bought a bottle a couple of days ago, and have been trying to research the ingredients a bit more…some of the information is a bit conflicting, especially concerning the red raspberry leaf.
In addition to the usual vitamins and minerals, the blend contains: red raspberry leaf extract, ginger extract, and spirulina. There’s also a probiotic and digestive enzymes, which I’m not particularly concerned about.
We’re currently in our first real cycle of TTC (pulled the goalie late last cycle). Since getting off the pill at the beginning of July, I’ve had 3 cycles: 40 days, 48 days, and 37 days. Currently on day 8 of this cycle, so probably won’t ovulate for another couple of weeks. I took folic acid for years, then switched to a regular prenatal in September. I’d heard good things about the trader joe’s prenatals, but now I’m a little nervous about the herbal blend.
To top it off, I’m a pharmacist, so you would think I would have some idea about this but we only had one class over natural medicine in school. My Ob-gyn said it didn’t really matter what prenatals I took when I asked her about it last year at my yearly, but I haven’t asked her about this specifically. Anyone have any experience with this?
Post # 3
Everything I’ve read says that there *might* be reasons to avoid it during pregnancy and during breast feeding, but not before pregnancy. Also, that it should probably be avoided by people with hormone-sensitive conditions like breast, uterine, and ovarion cancers, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids (all of this is from WebMD). The reasons to avoid it, according to the site, are that it might act like estrogen and be harmful to the pregnacy.
If you want to be on the safe side, then you could use these prenatals to aid in conceiving, and then stop using red raspberry leaf once you’re pregnant.
Post # 4
I have heard the same as the PP and for that I would probably just avoid them.
Post # 5
Thanks for the responses! I think I’m going to stop taking them and buy some regular prenatals again. They are HUGE and make me a littlen queasy as well. I’m frustrated with myself for buying them before looking into the herbal ingredients thoroughly, but at least I only took 2. Lesson learned!
Post # 6
@littlebee3: It’s not likely they harmed you in any way, or that they are all that different from other prenatals vitamins or things we take, eat, and drink every day. That’s just how medicines of all kinds are; there are benefits and drawbacks to all of them, not just the herbal, natural kind. There are things that are used before, during, and after pregnancy and during labor that are known to have side effects worse than this red raspberry leaf, and they get recommended and used all the time.
From what I’ve read of red raspberry leaf, there MIGHT be some bad side effects, and that’s mostly for women with hormone-sensitive conditions and pregnancy, because it MIGHT act like estrogen. That’s a lot of “might” going on.
There’s really no reason to be frustrated with yourself. You haven’t done anything bad or ill-advised. You’re fine.
Post # 7
The prenatals that I was taking from March-September had red raspberry leaf in them, my doctor didn’t bat an eyelash at it, and I didn’t have a problem getting pregnant. The only reason that I stopped taking them was because swallowing pills made me so sick, I had to switch to a chewable.
Post # 8
@Rhopalocera: thanks for the words of reassurance! I doubt these are just terrible, but I do have a family history of ovarian cancer and that makes me a bit more wary. I’m mostly frustrated with myself because I’m usually very good about reading up on things and very cautious with all meds and herbals (part of my job, literally!).
I think I’ll keep these in my pantry for now (not take them), and maybe ask my Ob-gyn about them when I actually go in to see her. A little part of me hoped that maybe these would help with my long cycles, but for now I think I’ll just try to be patient and content that I at least seem to be ovulating.
@PoppyH: these pills have given me some stomach trouble too 🙁 the other prenatal I was taking didn’t seem to bother me.
Post # 9
The levels of RRL in the prenatals are probably so low that you have nothing to worry about.
A lot of women, myself included, drink pretty concentrated teas of RRL towards the end of pregnany to tone the uterus (it does NOT cause labour though).
The tea shouldn’t be taken in ealry pregnancy, most would agree as it could cause a higher risk of miscarriage (at least it is suspected, some women drink it their whole pregnancy).
Do you know the amount of RRL in the prenatal? I really wouldn’t think there would be enough to pose a threat or even offer an advantage.
Post # 10
I drank a tea containing red raspberry leaf before and during my second and third pregnancies. It tones the uterus. I had no problems at all. But… with conflicting info out there, I’ll call an herbalist who lives near me, grows and sells her own herbs and has written a book on herbs in pregnancy. I bet she’ll have a definitive answer.