There is no good time to fall ill. However, there is certainly a bad time for contracting sickness. During pregnancy is certainly one of those times. Saying that the gestation period is roses and petals would be wrong. It is simultaneously a time for grave concern towards your health. Pregnancy medicines are one solution but anything you ingest during this period will affect your baby.
This week on LadiesAndBabies, we will address the issue of necessary medicines during pregnancy.
NOTE: Ask your doctor/gynaecologist before taking any kind of medicine. If you have been taking medicines for an ailment before the time of pregnancy, consult a doctor to see if you can continue it. Do not discontinue medicine on your own.
Should I be Concerned about Medicines During Pregnancy?
Yes, expecting moms should note that every medicine is different. The ways it may affect you and your baby is thus, also different. There are some drugs that you can take without worrying. Nonetheless, some medicines can hinder your health and therefore your baby’s health.
You should stay clear of taking any unnecessary medicines especially during the first trimester of your pregnancy. During the first three months, fetal development is rapid. The fetus may be exposed to potential health risks due to the side effects of these medicines.
Always consult your doctor before taking any kind of medicine during pregnancy.
When should I Take Medicines During Pregnancy?
Taking medicine during pregnancy would depend upon the condition or the illness you may have. Sometimes, medicines would be an option. For instance, you may try home remedies to treat a cold and choose not to take medicines.
On the other hand, some medicines are not an option for pregnant women. For example, an expecting woman who has asthma may have to continue the medicines. If she chooses to discontinue it, the ill effects may impact her and her baby’s health.
Only a doctor may be able to help you decide whether or not to take medicine during pregnancy.
Which Pregnancy Medicines are Safe?
There is no hard and fast answer to this question. It is because every woman’s body responds differently to every medicine. Therefore it is even more important to take clinical advice from a specialist.
Having said that, fortunately, there is a set of medicine which are safe during pregnancy. You may also consider effective remedies at home for treatment. These include:
For cold and cough
If you catch a cold and cannot sit in a room without coughing, you can consider taking saline nasal drops or a tablet with dextromethorphan.
You can try salt water gargling and steam inhalations. Try to rest as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids (warm ones, preferably).
You should strictly avoid pain relievers. The drug acetaminophen can be helpful in healing headaches, which is very common during pregnancy.
Besides that the most usual cause for headaches during gestation is dehydration. So try to drink as much water as you can. You can also use a cold compress to alleviate other forms of muscle pain.
Your growing belly may push your intestines and cause constipation. You can use laxatives and softeners.
You should aim to eat plenty of fibre and vegetables. Drinking water is also helpful in treating constipation during pregnancy.
For indigestion and heartburn
Heartburn and indigestion are very routine problems that pregnant women face. Drugs like alginates can be of great help. You can ask your healthcare provider for them.
At home, you can treat these issues without pregnancy medicines by eating small and frequent meals. Make some changes in your diet. Avoid eating spicy and fried foods.
Related read: Beware of drugs during pregnancy
What about Herbal Supplements and Vitamins?
Only because it says ‘natural’, does not mean it is safe. Studies have suggested that alternative pregnancy medicine therapy is often harmful to the baby and the mother. Herbal supplements should first go through a check under a medical specialist.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also avoid taking normal vitamins. It is because the doses of regular vitamins are high. Prenatal vitamins are specifically recommended to pregnant moms.
**Please note that too many vitamins may harm the baby’s health.
What is Your Learning?
The duty of safeguarding your baby’s health starts as soon as you decide to get pregnant. Pregnancy medicines is a complex issue and require expert advice from verified healthcare providers. You should avoid taking any over-the-counter drugs for any illnesses during pregnancy.