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Do You Know What Meds Are Safe to Take While Pregnant?

Do You Know What Meds Are Safe to Take While Pregnant?

Pregnancy—even in our high-tech era—still seems a bit magical. So it’s not surprising that there have always been some pretty far-out ideas about what to do and not do for those nine months. For example, it was once thought that looking at a mouse while pregnant meant your baby would have a hairy birthmark.

Fortunately, moms-to-be don’t worry about that these days. But a study in International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy reveals some women still mistakenly forego medications that can make them feel better and protect a developing fetus. For instance, some moms-to-be aren’t taking medications for urinary tract infections, and that can trigger a kidney infection, which can harm the fetus by causing early labor and low birth weight. Women also avoid acetaminophen, but it won’t harm the fetus and can ease discomfort.

Plus, some pregnant women think a flu shot is risky even though the CDC recommends it and studies show it protect newborns from life-threatening influenza. And do not skip prenatal vitamins with DHA omega-3. Taking those three months prior to pregnancy decreases autism spectrum disorders by up to 40 percent, reduces childhood cancers up to age six by 65 percent and decreases spina bifida by about 85 percent.

But caution is smart: One study found there wasn’t enough info about safety-during-pregnancy for 90 percent of medications approved by the FDA from 1980-2000. So, if you’re pregnant, work with your doc to decide what meds and supplements you need and what you can safely forego. 

Medically reviewed in December 2018.

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