We are all trying to stay as healthy as possible during this coronavirus pandemic. Some moms may questions about using vitamins and herbal supplements to try to boost immunity to prevent catching COVID-19.
Vitamins and herbal supplements are not likely to be any more effective at preventing contagious diseases than a good, balanced diet. Eat healthy.
Remember, prenatal or multivitamins with folic acid should be taken before pregnancy to prevent birth defects of the spine, called spina bifida. Prenatal vitamins usually have about 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin C, which already supports the immune system. More Vitamin C isn’t better, especially in pregnancy.
Herbal supplements are often made from plants and considered “natural,”But “natural” does not mean “safe”. There are many “natural” elements and plants that are not safe, especially in pregnancy and breastfeeding, including lead, mercury, marijuana, and tobacco. We get some medications from herbs and plants. Aspirin comes from White Willow Bark and Digitalis, a heart medication, comes from the Foxglove plant.
Herbal supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration the same way as medications and may contain different doses, other fillers, or may not even contain the herb on the label. Also, safety research is not required before they go to market.
MotherToBaby.org, has research information on very few herbal supplements so we often advise women to avoid the ones that we don’t know about. Most of the time we have more research on over-the-counter and prescription medications than supplements. If you have questions about a specific herb or supplement for use in pregnancy and breastfeeding, visit MotherToBaby.utah.gov or call 801-328-2229.