One of the most common questions from women who are pregnant, especially those with their first babies, is “how will it affect my baby?”. Whether it’s about the food they eat, the things they do, a pregnant woman’s instinct is to always wonder about the effects things have to their child. The same goes for when they get sick: what are safe meds during pregnancy and for my baby?
Safe meds during pregnancy
When you are pregnant, getting sick is particularly difficult and needless to say, worrying. Pregnant women not only worry about how their babies feel when their mother falls ill. They also worry ingesting medications that might cause birth defects or problems to the baby’s development.
Here’s what you need to know:
Always check with your doctor
According to Alane Park, M.D., author of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, minimising drug use while pregnant is always advised especially during the first trimester. However, Dr. Park has a reminder to mothers who may be hesitant to take any medications at all. Dr. Park said it is important to remember that the consequences of not taking meds to recover from or avoid illnesses outweigh any potential risks taking medications have.
But as with any medical concern, it is always best to consult your doctors. Understanding your condition is one of the key steps to getting better and recovering from an illness—this will also help ensure that you the safe meds during pregnancy will be administered to you.
Consulting your doctor will help you better understand what medications you need to take, how much and how often. This also applies to purchasing over-the-counter medicines which you have to check with the pharmacist. That way, you can be assured that the dosage you will take is within the safe range.
For further reference, here’s a handy guide for medications that are safe during pregnancy.
How about vitamin or herbal supplements?
For the most part, prenatal vitamins are safe to take during your pregnancy. Vitamins that are specifically formulated for pregnancy are meant to be safe. These pregnancy vitamins aim to provide essential nutrients needed not only by pregnant moms but also by the baby.
In some cases, alternative medicine such as herbal medicine may also be taken during pregnancy. Some forms of alternative therapy, such as acupuncture have also been found to be safe for pregnant women. However, it would be best to consult your doctor first before drinking any herbal supplements or engaging in various types of alternative therapy for illnesses.
In general, make sure to avoid these herbal supplements during your pregnancy: Arbor vitae, beth root, black cohosh, blue cohosh, cascara, chaste tree berry, Chinese angelica (dong quai), cinchona, cotton root bark, feverfew, ginseng, golden seal, juniper, kava kava, licorice, meadow saffron, pennyroyal, poke root, rue, sage, St. John’s wort, senna, slippery root, tansy, white peony, wormwood, yarrow, and yellow dock. Vitamin A is also advised to be avoided as large doses of this have been known to cause birth defects.
READ: 10 Things most moms forget about during pregnancy