During my 2014 pregnancy, I realized something that many pregnant women before me had already figured out - the amount of research surrounding basically anything and it's impact on pregnancy is horribly lacking. This isn't all that surprising, since testing various chemical compounds on pregnant women is pretty unethical, and surveying women about drug their drug use 20 years ago is spotty at best.

I started looking into alternative therapies, as the number of pregnancy-safe pharmaceuticals available is often not enough to help some pregnant women. However, this turned out to be even more difficult, as separating the genuinely useful information from the anecdotal information from the total woo 1) is pretty difficult.

I decided to start doing some research on the most common “natural” pregnancy remedies I knew of, and see how many of them had good scientific evidence to back them up.

This is a combination bibliography and literature review, and is featured on Reddit's pregnancy subreddit, /r/babybumps. Future locations may include /r/beyondthebump as well as /r/breastfeeding.

A link to an actively updated version of the document can be seen here. Keep in mind that this is the in progress .doc file and may contain any manner of issues as you browse it (this should, however, only occur if you are looking at it as I am updating it, which seems unlikely).

For a static PDF of the last version, go here. The current version is v1.4.

The following topics are on the docket for eventually being researched and added to the guide:

  • Breast milk/Breastfeeding
    • Night time milk - melatonin counts; does it help babies sleep better
    • Benefits - both long and short term benefits; is there a concrete age at which breastfeeding is only for nutrition
    • Galactagogues
      • Metamucil
      • Yeast
      • Flax meal
      • Fennel
      • Papaya
      • Spinach
      • Hummus
      • Goat's milk
      • Fenugreek
      • Shatavari
1) Especially with the “helpfulness” of internet forums