Is Melatonin Safe to Use While Pregnant?

Is Melatonin Safe to Use While Pregnant

Hi Mommy, welcome to PregnancyMommy. In today's post we will talk about "Is Melatonin Safe to Use While Pregnant". May be useful

Pregnancy is a challenging phase in a woman's life. The several physical and psychological changes entail support from the people around you. Because you carry with you a precious life, you need to take care of yourself. Get a balanced diet, take vitamins and have restful sleep. The first two requirements are easy to achieve. However, the sleep is quite difficult, especially during the last trimester. Because pregnancy insomnia can affect the growing fetus, you need to get help if you experience this. Before taking any medication, make sure you consider the factors below to avoid damage to the unborn baby.

Safe

The safety of the medication for pregnancy insomnia is the primary consideration. Because most medicines can alter the development of the fetus, you need to consult your doctor before trying any drug for your insomnia. Your doctor is the best person to know what drugs are teratogenic and what medication is safe for your baby. Because you only get pregnant with that baby once, you must never compromise the safety using unknown treatments.

Natural

If you want to be sure that the medication for pregnancy insomnia is safe, go for natural substances. Natural products are those that normally occur in the body or in nature. For sleeping aids, choose the products with melatonin as the ingredient. Because the body produces the hormone naturally, you do not have to worry about its ill effects to your unborn angel.

Non-Addictive

Once you give birth, most pregnancy insomnia problems disappear. Therefore, after 9 months, you do not need sleeping aids to assist you. If you need to take medication while pregnant, choose those that are non-addictive to ensure that you will not experience withdrawal symptoms once you stop taking them.

There are many remedies for pregnancy insomnia. The most important thing you should do is consult your doctor before taking any medication. Remember, you must never take chances during this stage in your life.

Melatonin Side Effects - Facts to Help You

They've all said it works great but what are potential melatonin side effects you should watch out for? Or perhaps you're wondering if you are experiencing some changes that could be due to melatonin side effects. Here's the low down.

Melatonin is undoubtedly one of the most popular over the counter sleep aids. You would probably be familiar by now about its benefits especially in jet lag and getting your internal body clock back on track. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. Long-term studies on humans are also not available.

The good news is melatonin is generally regarded as safe in recommended doses for short-term use (three months or less) according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). Looking at available studies and clinical use, melatonin's overall side effects are not significantly more common than placebo, the control group that didn't take melatonin. Commonly experienced melatonin side effects include fatigue, dizziness, headache, irritability, and sleepiness, although these effects may occur due to jet lag and not to melatonin itself.

In that context of its overall safety profile, you should still keep a watch out for out-of-the-norm melatonin side effects that have been reported and raised some concerns. These are:

1.     Blood clotting abnormalities   (particularly in people taking warfarin)

2.    Seizures
Melatonin may lower seizure threshold and increase the risk of seizure, particularly in children with severe neurologic disorders. However, multiple other studies actually report reduced incidence of seizure with regular melatonin use. Hence, this remains an area of controversy.

3.    Disorientation with overdose
This is accompanied by confusion, sleepwalking, vivid dreams, and nightmares. Fortunately, these melatonin side effects often resolve after stopping melatonin.

4.    Mood changes  including giddiness and dysphoria (sadness)

5.    Psychotic symptoms
Hallucinations and paranoia are possibly due to an overdose. People with underlying major depression or psychotic disorders taking melatonin should be monitored closely by a healthcare professional.

6.    Hormonal changes

This affects both men and women. For men, increased breast size (gynecomastia), decreased sperm count and decreased sperm motility have been reported. Fortunately, these are resolved after stopping melatonin.

For women, decreases or increases in levels of reproductive, thyroid and growth hormones have been reported. High levels of melatonin during pregnancy may increase the risk of developmental disorders. In animal studies, melatonin is detected in breast milk.

7.    Elevated blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia)  
This melatonin side effect is mainly reported in patients with type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes). Low doses of melatonin reduced glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in these cases.

Avoid Melatonin if:
1.    You are taking the blood-thinning medication like warfarin, aspirin or heparin.
2.    You have neurologic disorders and taking anti-epileptic drugs
3.    You are suffering from depression or other psychotic disorders
4.    You have diabetes especially Type 1 diabetes
5.    You are pregnant or are a nursing mother


Overall, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. The big picture is that when the recommended doses are used for short term, melatonin is generally safe. That's probably another reason why it's popular for jet lag and the effects of shift work.
And the fact is, you have to find not just any doctor but one who is familiar with your health profile to determine if your profile puts you at risk of those side effects of melatonin outlined.

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