Background The extent of herbal medicine use in pregnancy has been widely researched throughout the world but little research has been published about the motivations for this use. Methods Focus group discussion. Women who participated in a survey at an antenatal clinic were asked to participate in a focus group discussion to elaborate further on some of the results from the survey. Six women participated. Results The major themes identified were: the “underground” nature of taking herbal remedies, reliance on family and friends for information, perceived safety of herbal remedies whilst acknowledging the lack of trial evidence and a desire for the NHS to be more open minded. Conclusion Herbal medicines are pharmacologically active and pregnant women frequently take these without informing their pregnancy care provider. If doctors want to obtain a full medical picture which includes herb use then non-judgemental responses to such behaviour is required.