Is It Safe to Take Melatonin During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting periods of a woman’s life. During the first trimester, the body experiences a wide range of changes as the fetus grows and develops. One of the primary changes that occur during this time is the body’s natural production of melatonin, a hormone associated with sleep and relaxation. It is important for pregnant women to understand the effects of melatonin on the body during this period as it can have a major impact on the safety and wellbeing of both mother and baby. In this blog post, we will explore melatonin and its effects on pregnancy during the first trimester, including potential risks and benefits, as well as recommended dosages and sources. We will also consider the implications of using synthetic melatonin during pregnancy and the potential side effects that this may cause.

What sleep aids are safe for pregnancy?

Due to the complexity of sleep problems, Bogler doesn’t frequently prescribe sleeping pills to her patients, whether they are pregnant or not. She asks, acknowledging that physical changes in pregnancy can make sleep particularly difficult, “Is it stress, body positioning, discomfort, underlying depression or anxiety?” “You can’t deny how difficult it is, but medication doesn’t always make those problems go away.” ”.

Bogler discusses good sleep hygiene and suggests behavioral changes to help patients who struggle with insomnia and other sleep problems, such as getting enough exercise during the day and avoiding screens for at least an hour before bed. Some people who struggle with sleep issues may find benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. Bogler frequently advises her pregnant patients to sleep with a pillow, stand up, or elevate their legs.

I make a real effort to recommend lifestyle changes for sleep before taking medications,” Bogler says. To rule out any underlying medical conditions that could result in cramping or restless legs in the evening, it is advantageous to have your thyroid and iron levels checked.

Is It Safe to Take Melatonin While Pregnant?

It’s important to point out that melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces, even during pregnancy; the placenta makes it, so it’s ever present in your system, as noted by the journal Human Reproduction Update. But in terms of popping a supplement form of this hormone, can you take melatonin while pregnant—and is it safe?

The frustrating reality is that there’s no definitive answer as to whether or not it’s safe to take melatonin while pregnant. “We know that melatonin crosses the placenta and can enter the fetus’ bloodstream,” says Pieter Cohen, MD, a general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. “It appears safe, but it hasn’t been carefully studied.” That goes for melatonin gummies, dissolvables and capsules designed to be swallowed. Related Video

Even at low doses, there’s a chance that melatonin exposure could have subtle effects on baby’s hormonal signal development, Cohen notes. And higher doses could be even more problematic. “We know that children can become overly sedated by excessive melatonin, but what effect excessive melatonin would have on the [baby in utero] isn’t known,” Cohen says. What’s more, even if you pluck the lowest dose off your pharmacy shelf, there are no guarantees. Supplement dosage isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so you can never know exactly how much you’re taking. In fact, research has found that melatonin labeling isn’t always accurate, and that the dose listed on the bottle might not represent the actual amount of melatonin in the pills.

Can you take melatonin in the first trimester?

Although there’s little evidence of harm linked to melatonin exposure in the first trimester, there may be unknown risks, says Renita White, MD, an ob-gyn in Atlanta. Again, the research just doesn’t exist. She advises against taking melatonin in all three trimesters, and instead opting for medications or lifestyle changes that have been proven to be safe during pregnancy.

Don’t worry if you took melatonin before finding out you were pregnant. According to White, there’s no need to worry (more) about an unintentional melatonin exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy when you weren’t aware that you were carrying a baby.


What happens if a pregnant woman takes melatonin?

Interestingly, the placenta produces melatonin and this source of melatonin is thought to be important to a normal, healthy pregnancy. In animal studies, it has been shown that supplementation with melatonin decreases the risk of pre-eclampsia, preterm birth and intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR).

How much melatonin is safe during pregnancy?

She advises against taking melatonin in all three trimesters, and instead opting for medications or lifestyle changes that have been proven to be safe during pregnancy.

What can I take to help me sleep during first trimester?

5 safe sleep aids for pregnancy
  1. Benadryl. …
  2. Unisom Sleep Tabs. …
  3. Melatonin. …
  4. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) …
  5. Treatments for pregnancy discomforts. …
  6. Benzodiazepines. …
  7. Ambien (zolpidem) …
  8. Barbiturates and tranquilizers.

The Melatonin in Pregnancy Study

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