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MotherNature

Our Mandate

  • To provide authoritative information and guidance to pregnant or lactating patients and their health care providers regarding the fetal risks associated with natural health product (NHP) exposure and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments during pregnancy.
  • To research unanswered questions on the safety of NHPs during pregnancy and lactation, and maintain a vital training and educational program in the area of reproductive and developmental toxicology.
  • Learn more about research on nutrition
Picture of herbs

Complementary and Alternative Medicines and Therapies

Natural doesn't always mean safe.

But that doesn’t stop millions of people in North America, including pregnant women, from consuming natural health products. Natural health products (NHPs) include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, medicinal plants, fatty acids, probiotics, digestive enzymes, traditional Chinese medicines, nutritional supplements and homeopathic remedies.

Based on the risk of harm to the fetus associated with certain drugs, women and their health care providers may be hesitant to take or prescribe drugs during pregnancy. In cases where women choose to discontinue their drug use during pregnancy, they often seek NHPs as alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs. Are they safe during pregnancy? In some cases, we have evidence of safety for some vitamins, minerals and botanicals; in other cases, we simply do not know or have evidence of harm.

The aim of the MotherNature Network is ongoing research in this field. Here is a list of studies that have been undertaken as part of this initiative.

Herbal

Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)

Motherisk Research

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides)

Motherisk Research

Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus)

Motherisk Research

Cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon)

Motherisk Research

Echinacea

Motherisk Research

Ginger

Motherisk Research

Ginkgo biloba

Motherisk Research

St. John's Wort

Motherisk Research

Overview

Motherisk Research

Therapies

Motherisk Research


Woman and apple

Nutrition

It's no longer as simple as "eating for two."

In fact, what we thought we knew about nutrition and weight gain during pregnancy doesn't always stand up against new clinical findings. Insufficient vitamin supplementation may spell trouble for the baby. Uncontrolled weight gain may predict long-term health problems for the mother. Women who gain excessive weight during pregnancy may also be setting the stage for obesity in their children.

Here's some research on Nutrition to consider and discuss with your doctor. This research was conducted by members of the MotherNature-Network.

Celiac Disease

Motherisk Research

Folic Acid

Taking Folic Acid Before You Get Pregnant
http://www.motherisk.org/women/folicAcid.jsp

Motherisk Research

Glucosamine

Motherisk Research

Iron

Motherisk Research

Nutrition B6

Motherisk Research

Nutrition and Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy

Motherisk Research

Obesity

Motherisk Research

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

Motherisk Research

Prenatal Multinutrition

Motherisk Research

Probiotics

Motherisk Research

Vitamin C

Motherisk Research

Vitamin E

Motherisk Research

Vitamin K

Motherisk Research

Research in Progress

Follow the progress of the MotherNature-Network as we pursue these research projects.
Current Studies at Motherisk: Folic Acid Before and During Pregnancy


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The information on this website is not intended as a substitute for the advice and care of your doctor or other health-care provider. Always consult your doctor if you have any questions about exposures during pregnancy and before you take any medications.

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The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is a health-care, teaching and research centre dedicated exclusively to children; affiliated with the University of Toronto. For general inquires please call: 416-813-1500.

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