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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I am an infrequent poster but regular lurker--I get such great tips from all of you!--and thought you well-informed mamas might be able to answer a question for me.

I am 15.5 weeks pregnant with my first, beloved child, and have been very careful about my diet and other factors within my control. Before I got pregnant I did as much research into the safety of various foods, herbs, and spices as I could, and have steered clear of things that seemed to carry some risk. Now in my second trimester with a healthy baby I have become a little less frightened of eating foods that are not devoid of flavor (I had not been using any spices at all), though I am not comfortable with herbs linked to hormone-binding activities or ones known to stimulate uterine contractions, etc.

All this is a long way of saying that I ate an organic salsa this evening without realizing that it contained some cumin, which is on many "no-no" lists. My DH, who has become accustomed to considering ingredients as I do, gave it to me (being kind, as I had been craving multigrain crisps and salsa) and not thinking through a pregnancy migraine, I ate it without checking the label myself. Since discovering that cumin was included in the recipe, I have done a bit more research on that particular herb and have read multiple references to its powerful anti-progesterone properties. I had never previously heard that labors have been successfully induced with partial teaspoons of the herb. If I had known, I would have left that salsa well alone!

I imagine that many of you are far more knowledgeable about the properties of some herbs than I am, so I was wondering whether you might be able to share some advice. Should I be worried about the consumption of a serving of salsa that contained cumin along with some other "pregnancy safe" spices? Is there anything I can or should do, or am I just being a worrywart of a first-time mommy?

Many thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Huh. I've never heard of that.

My unscientific guess? If it were that potent, Indian women would miscarry all the time. A lot of Indian food is heavily spiced with cumin. I'd avoid it from now on if it makes you feel unsafe, but not freak out about having had the salsa.

Congratulations, by the way!
 

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Yeah...I would NOT worry about a little cumin. Honestly, the amount of worry in such a restrictive diet is probably more of a harm to the pregnancy than anything else. Please try to be a little easier on yourself!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you, RedOakMomma and Smokering!

This is about what I expected to hear, and what common sense would seem to tell me, but plants can be powerful and I didn't know enough about this particular herb to be sure. It surprised me to read that it is used by some midwives in Texas as a first-line attempt at natural induction. I also had not heard this before tonight, so I thought I should check in with people who were likely to know more than I did. If this really is a significant risk, I'm sure the well-studied mamas at MDC would know. Thanks again!
 

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Remember that a lot of things only work as inducers if the body is nearly ready to go into labour anyway. So what might "tip the scale" for a 40-week pregnant woman might not necessarily affect a 20-week pregnant woman at all, unless she had some other issue that made her susceptible to pre-term labour. That's not the case for all natural inducers (I've heard bad things about clary sage, for instance): but for cumin it might be.
 

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Midwesterner, if it helps, with my first pregnancy I went to 40 weeks with TWINS, and one of my favorite meals the entire pregnancy was very heavily flavored with cumin.

I agree with the last post... I would guess that a lot of the herbs or supplements taken to induce labor naturally will only work on a body that is ready and primed to go into labor. In some of the midwifery and birthing books I've read, it's said as much.

Take it easy on yourself.
Really. A hyper-controlled diet is not going to give you control over whether or not bad things happen, but it WILL stress you out quite a bit.
 

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I have never heard anything along those lines, either. My favorite kind of food is Mexican, and when I make anything myself, there are ridiculous amounts of cumin in it. I've never had any issues because of it.
 

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I have never heard of anything wrong with cumin either...and use it in chili and mexican dishes all the time!
FWIW, I have gone between 6-13 days after my due date with all!
 

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I really think it's better to eat healthy foods that you want than to worry over a tiny bit of cumin.
 

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On the one hand, I use cumin at least weekly, if not multiple times a week, in my kitchen. On the other hand, it might explain why I went into labor with my DD after an excellent dinner of Indian food!!
 
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