Black Cohosh and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, it's a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before taking black cohosh. This herb has traditionally been used in conjunction with blue cohosh to induce labor; however, it has not been proven to be safe or effective for this use.

An Overview of Pregnancy and Black Cohosh

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) is an herb that is often used in supplements for treating the symptoms of menopause. It is also sometimes recommended by midwives and natural medicine practitioners for stimulating labor. It is not known if black cohosh is safe or effective for this use.

Is Black Cohosh Safe for Pregnant Women?

Even though it is a "natural" product, this does automatically imply that it is safe for use during pregnancy. Traditionally, it has been used (often in combination with blue cohosh) for inducing labor. However, it should never be used in the first two trimesters or early in the third trimester, as this may lead to a miscarriage or premature labor.
Serious problems have been reported in infants whose mothers took black cohosh and blue cohosh to stimulate labor, but it is generally thought that these problems were probably caused by the blue cohosh.
There is no reliable scientific evidence showing that black cohosh is safe or effective for inducing labor (even though it is very popular for this use among midwives).
If you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement. Do not take black cohosh in early pregnancy or mid-pregnancy, and do not take black cohosh for labor induction without the supervision of your healthcare provider.
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