taking evening primrose oil in first trimester? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've just discovered I'm 5 weeks pregnant (early days, for sure) but am wondering if it's safe to continue my daily supplement of Evening Primrose Oil. I take the EPO because it helps with my psoriasis but now, since reading about midwives recommending it to loosen cervix prior to labour, I'm thinking it isn't a good choice? So, am I right to stop taking it ... for now, anyway?

Just double-checking.

Thanks. Of course, now, I'm not sure what is SAFE to take to help with my psoriasis.
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#2 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 01:12 PM
 
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Definitely stop taking it. It's contraindicated in pregnancy.

You know, your skin will probably change a lot during pregnancy, so it's hard to say- your skin may get better for a while on it's own! Definitely take fish oil pill supplements- the DHA/EHA is not only great for the baby, but great for your skin and the inflamation that may be causing your problems. That and a good multivitamin is a great combination. (Fish oil pills were shown by consumer reports to have *no* mercury, etc, in them- the type of fish they use for that are safe and unlike fish for eating.)

Other than that, gosh, lots of moisturizer? -j
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#3 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 02:06 PM
 
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I take a fish oil supplement from Pharmax that's great -- and orange flavored so it's not gross nor fishy tasting. It's mercury-free, and while I couldn't tolerate it my first trimester very well (couldn't tolerate much then honestly), I gave up til the nausea passed and now am much better I take it for the protein and now for baby's brain development but I too have heard about its benefits for skin, so go for it!

I also second the pp with the evening primrose recommendation -- I was taking it while ttc from AF to OV but stopped each month at OV so please do stop now.

You can try it again post-40 weeks to try to help kickstart labor, though I've heard

If pregnancy doesn't automatically improve it, please talk to your health care professional about the psoriasis.

Anything you put on your skin can affect your baby, and yet there aren't warning labels on most skin products. So ask before you use anything, please. (Salicylic acid, for example is a no-no but you don't see warning labels on those creams.)

Anyway good luck and congrats on being pregnant!!

ETA: Lots of water can help skin problems too, I know -- but I had to deal with pg acne, not psoriasis, though it cleared up by 2nd trimester just fine. Hopefully your skin issues will clear up while pg -- it happens to many women Mine was just the opposite *laughs*

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#4 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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I don't see why you couldn't. I take a daily Flax capsule for the same reasons you'd take EPO. The added benefit is that my last 2 pg my cervix was REALLY mushy toward the end.

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#5 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 03:06 PM
 
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I used to take EPO to help with cramping, and my naturopath told me not to take it (or any other supplements) without checking with her first. EPO should not be used until late in pregnancy as it can affect the ripening of the cervix.

Fish oil is good to use but I would wait and see how your skin responds to pregnancy, and just try to keep up lots of fluids. I found that my chronic ezcema gets much better during pregnancy just from the increased blood flow.

Congrats!
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#6 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 03:09 PM
 
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Another vote for switching to fish oil. I have Eczema, and the fish oil is working SO MUCH BETTER than EPO. I'd talk to your ND and get a recommendation from her. i use Carson brand (it's the brand my ND stocks) it's mercury free and not made from the fish liver which can have too much vit a. Good luck

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#7 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your very helpful advice. I think I'll go shopping for some fish oil. I'm glad you all mentioned there are 'mercury-free' products - I was concerned about that issue. I'm going to start my 2.5 year old DS on the fish oil as well. Thanks so much regarding advice about EPO.
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#8 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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will look for links later but my midwife recommended (and i took) EPO throughout my last pregnancy. actually i think i started in the 2nd tri. will check on that too. she gave me a study that showed how beneficial it is for pregnant women throughout pregnancy.

Chrissy, lucky mama to Noah (9), Lilah (6), Rowan (3) and Laney (1).
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#9 of 12 Old 11-23-2005, 11:56 PM
 
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Prior to conceiving I took EPO for PMS.

When DH & I were trying to conceive we were advised by a naturapath (and supported by Midwife) to stop taking EPO and change to flaxseed oil.

I kept up the flaxseed oil until the end of my pregnancy.
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#10 of 12 Old 11-24-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nighten
I take a fish oil supplement from Pharmax that's great -- and orange flavored so it's not gross nor fishy tasting. It's mercury-free, and while I couldn't tolerate it my first trimester very well (couldn't tolerate much then honestly), I gave up til the nausea passed and now am much better I take it for the protein and now for baby's brain development but I too have heard about its benefits for skin, so go for it!
OMG. Orange flavor. What a dream. I'm going to look into that. Consumer reports recommended getting either the Costco or sam's club brand, since they are an order of magnitude cheaper than any of the others, and tested great. You can get the Costco (kirkland) brand over the web from other suppliers, actually, which I did.

Anyway, so you need to be careful with those to only take ONE at a time. It suggests one at every meal. If you take TWO to try to make up for it.. uh, oh, *fish burps*. I am not kidding. And that put me off fish oil most days in the first trimester, but it's much better now.

I wish I had known about the orange tasting stuff. I have, oh, aabout a million more pills to go before I can go justifying more -j
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#11 of 12 Old 11-24-2005, 11:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenny-g
OMG. Orange flavor. What a dream. I'm going to look into that. Consumer reports recommended getting either the Costco or sam's club brand, since they are an order of magnitude cheaper than any of the others, and tested great. You can get the Costco (kirkland) brand over the web from other suppliers, actually, which I did.

Anyway, so you need to be careful with those to only take ONE at a time. It suggests one at every meal. If you take TWO to try to make up for it.. uh, oh, *fish burps*. I am not kidding. And that put me off fish oil most days in the first trimester, but it's much better now.

I wish I had known about the orange tasting stuff. I have, oh, aabout a million more pills to go before I can go justifying more -j

The Pharmax brand isn't pills -- it's liquid. You take a spoonful at a time. And not orange-flavored like fake orange lollipops, but orange flavored like an extract. Make sense? It takes some getting used to but once you're used to it it's fine.

No burping issues at all with liquid, btw.

Sorry, I have no recommendation regarding the other brands you mentioned beyond Sam's Club is part of the Walmart monster, and I just can't support that -- I haven't heard of Costco, sorry :/ But I'd recommend being as super careful about the ingredients and making sure it's from a mercury-free source. Some more mainstream distributors might not list any info at all about methyl mercury and I'd be suspicious of that. Just my two cents

Anyway there are some great fish oil supplements at my local healthfood store and I live in a pretty small town so I'm sure they aren't hard to find elsewhere, in case you can't get ahold of a Pharmax distributor or naturopath.

But if you can, it's worth it! Pharmax is a great company (I have gotten acidophilus from them too) -- it's all my naturopath will prescribe

Good luck and hope that helps.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#12 of 12 Old 11-25-2005, 04:29 AM
 
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BTW: Costco is like Sam's club as in it's a wharehouse club you have to pay to use, but the opposite- take good care of their employees and well-known for being rather corporately responsible. I mentioned sam's club becuase a lot of people don't have other options- I'm in central IL now and we don't have costco anywhere. It's frustrating.

Consumer reports studied, I think it was, 20 brands of fish oil and NOT ONE had any mercury in it. The reason is the type of fish (cheap, small, deepwater fish) used for the oil is not a kind used for eating, and as it's small, it never accumulates the mercury other fish do. I the main issues are freshness and if you're getting the stated dose within the pill. Consumer reports recommended going by price, as they really didn't see problems with any of the supplements. (NOT the same for what they found for calcium suppliments, I might add, some of which were contaminated and pretty bad).

So that is one less thing we have to worry about . I'll bet it's easier to take a larger dose with your orangy liquid stuff. I'll definitely get that some day, as I will continue taking these as I breastfeed (and probably after that, too- very good for the heart!) -j
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