Vanilla extract — The Bump
2nd Trimester

Vanilla extract

Okay, so obviously, vanilla extract has been determined to be safe in dosages normally found in food, with no real evidence of the effects for larger doses.

During my last pregnancy, I was having lots of heartburn and wanted a "natural" remedy.  I found someone who suggested warm milk with a tsp vanilla and a tsp sugar.  It was delicious and very effective and I had it at least four times a week by the end with no effect.

This time, I've already had it a few times, but my husband has stopped measuring the vanilla.  Two times ago, he admitted he had accidentally put too much in.  This last time, he was much more in control (but my opinion is that it was probably still way too much).  Anyway, after drinking the milk, the limbs went slightly numb.  Not like I couldn't feel them at all, but rather like the muscles all felt numb.  The first time was just my legs, but the second time was my legs and arms.  I'm a little concerned about the effects my LO may have experienced, especially since I can't find any info on this online.  I know it has nothing to do with the alcohol, because alcohol doesn't make my muscles numb like that.

Needless to say, I won't be doing any more vanilla milk, but I just wanted to share in case anyone had any ideas :) 

Re: Vanilla extract

  • I've never heard of that before. Are you sure that there's nothing else you were taking that could have been the culprit?
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  • Random but when I read Water for Elephants there was a character who was drinking extract to get drunk from the alcohol and ended up paralyzed because he drank too much of it.  That is nowhere near your situation, though.  Chocolate milk helps with heartburn, too.
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  • image namcgee:
    Random but when I read Water for Elephants there was a character who was drinking extract to get drunk from the alcohol and ended up paralyzed because he drank too much of it.  That is nowhere near your situation, though.  Chocolate milk helps with heartburn, too.

    Yea, I'll probably be switching to chocolate milk from now on.

    To the other poster, yes, I'm pretty sure.  There's nothing else I did or consumed that could be associated with two events two days apart from one another which occurred within a minute or so of finishing my vanilla milk.  Of course, it could be some random thing that's going wrong in my body, but I'll know that if it happens at all in the future, since I'm not drinking it anymore. 

  • Haven't heard anything bad about real vanilla. I've been told that Papaya chews are great for heartburn, if you want to try something natural. Also papaya itself may help as well. Also, are you using real vanilla or synthetic vanilla (vanillin which I think comes from the same family as some blood thinners)? I think you should probably talk to your OB about it as it may have just been a weird coincidence, I know I've had numbness in my hands lately which is probably Carpel Tunnel of Pregnancy (goes away after you give birth). 
  • It's also possible that baby may have been lying on a nerve or something that caused the numbness, like they say can happen if you lie flat on your back. 

    I personally tried the papaya enzymes last time I was pregnant.  For me, they didn't work as well as chocolate milk.

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  • image namcgee:

    It's also possible that baby may have been lying on a nerve or something that caused the numbness, like they say can happen if you lie flat on your back. 

    I personally tried the papaya enzymes last time I was pregnant.  For me, they didn't work as well as chocolate milk.

    The trick to the chewable papaya enzymes is taking them in quantities of 4. It sounds crazy, but taking 2 or 3 will not work as well as 4.. 

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  • image westerngirl91:

    The trick to the chewable papaya enzymes is taking them in quantities of 4. It sounds crazy, but taking 2 or 3 will not work as well as 4.. 

    Ah, I was doing it wrong then!  haha  The directions on mine say "take 4 tablets daily, preferably with meals."  So if I took all 4 at once rather than 1/meal or snack it might actually do something.

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  • image SusanP77:
    Haven't heard anything bad about real vanilla. I've been told that Papaya chews are great for heartburn, if you want to try something natural. Also papaya itself may help as well. Also, are you using real vanilla or synthetic vanilla (vanillin which I think comes from the same family as some blood thinners)? I think you should probably talk to your OB about it as it may have just been a weird coincidence, I know I've had numbness in my hands lately which is probably Carpel Tunnel of Pregnancy (goes away after you give birth). 

    Does just eating papaya work?  I've got lots in the fridge right now because my daughter likes it and my husband gets carried away when I send him to the store for fruit.

    I use real vanilla, since I'm a vanilla snob :)

    Thanks all for the advice!  I'll definitely bring this up to my OB next time, one way or another. 

  • I only ever do a capfull but yeah, I've done that too. Not for heartburn but just because it helps me drink milk. My mom taught me this when I was little..... like little little. I've never had any effects from the alcohol in it. I really doubt that your DH could have given you that much. Before I got pregnant I used to make my own vanilla coke and I would use ALOT of pure vanilla.... never had anything NEAR that happen to me. Talk to your doc but I wouldn't worry about your LO at all...
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  • Are you perhaps using a different brand of Vanilla Extract? Are you using synthetic or 100% ??
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  • Some vanilla is alcohol free, I think Trader Joe's might be?
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