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Pregnant? Talk to Your Doc Before Taking Herbal Remedies

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Mennuti says that obstetricians and other doctors know that so-called natural remedies are becoming more popular but he says that too often obstetricians are ignorant about their own patients' use. "We need to ask the questions and I guess we need to ask very specific questions," he says.

Zinberg agrees with Gibson that some women don't think of herbal medicines as medicine so they are unlikely to volunteer information about use. "They think what could be wrong with something natural but they don't realize that just putting a natural label on something doesn't guarantee safety," he says.

The take home message for pregnant women is pretty clear, says Gibson: even if your doctor doesn't ask, tell him or her about any herbal preparations that you are taking.

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