I'm trying to find anecdotal reports from people who have used St. John's Wort while pregnant.
I am 24 weeks and have been getting more and more depressed over the past month or maybe even two, to the point where I'm pretty desperate. I don't sleep, I have trouble getting anything done, I cry all the time and feel completely trapped, and it's becoming a real effort to eat properly or to exercise at all.
I'd rather not take anything, but it's getting to the point where something has to be done. When I was younger, I spent 4 years trying various pharmaceuticals for depression which not only didn't work, but the side effects and combinations of drugs made me feel completely disconnected from myself; it was so much worse than just the depression. It took me a long time to put my life and my sense of self back together after that experience and I won't be going down that road again. I know there are prescription meds that have been studied in pregnancy, but I've tried them in the past and had no luck then, so I am not going to take them now, for any reason.
I do meditate regularly and eat good whole foods, and I exercise about an hour a day, but none of those things are working to help me stop this downward slide.
That brings me to St. John's Wort.
There are studies that suggest that St. John's Wort does not cause birth defects, so while it's still inconclusive that's not really my worry.
What I am curious about is also a study which showed that the herb caused increased uterine tone, so many online sources say something like "theoretically this could cause pre-term labour" or something along those lines, but I have not been able to find reports of anyone who actually experienced pre-term labour while taking St. John's Wort. I haven't even found evidence of that happening in animal studies.
I'd love it if I had a medical practitioner to ask about this, but there are no midwives available in my area and I can't afford to visit a naturopath as it's not covered by my health plan. I know my doctor would not approve of my taking St. John's Wort for the reason that there are no extensive studies showing that it is safe, and I don't want to ask him about it because I don't want to feel pressured into taking a prescription antidepressant.
Anyway, has anyone here used St John's Wort? Does anyone have any additional information about whether it can actually cause pre-term labour?
Thanks very much.