What Pregnant Women Can Take For Constipation
Safe to take: Metamucil, Colace, Citracel, Milk of Magnesia, Dulcolax
If you’re feeling a little plugged up, blame it on a surge in the hormone progesterone that slows down your smooth muscle cells so your bowel movements aren’t as regular. . Dr. Park gives the green light for taking stool softeners and laxatives, but also try upping your fiber intake by eating more fruits and veggies and drinking plenty of fluids. Exercise, with your doctor’s approval, can also help to keep constipation at bay. If problems persist, your doctor may suggest a bulk-fiber laxative, such as Metamucil or Fiberall.
What Are The Different Types Of Headaches
The headaches youre suffering from while pregnant are just like the ones you can get at any other time, so its worth learning about some of the most common types. Heres a short primer to help you figure out what kind of headache you might have:
- Tension headaches: If youre under stress, hungry or feel pain in your neck or shoulders, you could have a tension headache, which feels like a mild to moderate dull ache. Its one of the most common types.
- Migraines: With a migraine headache, you can expect moderate to severe pain that throbs and lasts for hours or even days. Some women with migraines also experience blurred vision, light flashes, numbness and nausea.
- Sinus headaches: Pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead plus a stuffy nose may signal a sinus headache. These typically occur with a sinus infection, but theyre also commonly confused with migraines. In both cases, the pain can get worse when you bend forward or lie down.
- Cluster headaches: These head pains are what they sound like headaches upon headaches that start quickly and get worse, lasting for days or longer. The searing pain usually centers on one eye or affects one side of the head. The good news: Cluster headaches are rare, especially in women compared to men.
- Chronic headaches: If youre getting headaches on more than half of the days in any given month, they could be considered chronic. This includes migraines and other headache types chronic just refers to how frequently they happen.
What Pregnant Women Can Take For Yeast Infections
Safe to take: Monistat, Gynelotrimin
Yeast infections are common during pregnancy, and while the condition won’t harm the baby, the last thing you want to do is suffer through the itchy discomfort. “There is some absorption of vaginal creams into the body and blood stream, but doses are low and no studies show that it affects baby or mom negatively,” says Dr. Park. “We don’t prescribe the oral pill diflucan or fluconzaole because observational studies show that moms who have had to take extended doses for chronic fungal infections have had babies with birth defects.” However, it’s safe to take this oral yeast infection medication when breastfeeding if you get the fungal infection known as thrush from your baby.
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Nurtec Odt And Breastfeeding
It isnt known if Nurtec is safe to take while breastfeeding. No studies have looked at the drugs use while breastfeeding.
If youre breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor before taking Nurtec ODT. They can recommend safe options for feeding your child and treating your episodes.
Tylenol While Pregnant: Risks & Concerns
While acetaminophen is considered the safest pain reliever to take while pregnant, its not without some risks. Emerging research suggests a possible association between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and a small increase in the likelihood of asthma, ADHD and autism in children.
However, the studies arent considered strong evidence since many were done in animals and often at much higher doses than normal, or through self-reports by women who took Tylenol during pregnancy . Much of the criticim of these studies are that they have imperfect controlswhich makes it really hard to separate what factors actually drive the results.
So at this point, theres no proof that appropriate acetaminophen use negatively impacts babies. To be safe though, experts recommend taking the lowest dose for the shortest possible time or trying alternative ways to relieve pain first. And of coures, before taking any sort of medication or supplement during pregnancy, you should always consult your healthcare provider.
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What Otc Medicines To Avoid During Pregnancy
Pregnant women should avoid the following medications: ibuprofen , Bactrim , aspirin, naproxen , and codeine. When choosing medications, avoid all-in-one medications such as cold medicine that treats nasal congestion, fever, and aches and pains with one dose. Instead, treat specific symptoms . This decreases the chance of choosing a medication that might have ingredients that arent safe for you or your baby.
Natural Remedies Like Massage Therapy And Acupuncture Are Good Alternatives To Otc Medication
Dr. Hutchinson prefers natural treatments such as B-2 and Magnesium for prevention. She also recommends physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, adequate hydration, and essential oils like lavender and peppermint.
But what happens when preventative measures aren’t working and an OTC drug isn’t strong enough to alleviate headache pain?
Dr. Daniel Roshan, MD, assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine, told INSIDER that women who have a severe headache or a bad migraine might need stronger medications such as codeine, but anything that serious should only be given under the supervision of a doctor.
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Tylenol While Pregnant: Safe
Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, is the safest option to take during pregnancy however, take as little of it as possible for the shortest course, says Soma Mandal, MD, a board-certified internist at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.
Women who took acetaminophen were less likely to have birth defects, Dr. Mandal says of the study.
While acetaminophen may be the drug of choice when looking for pain relief while pregnant, its still important to read the labels every time you purchase medication.
Avoid combination medications, so you do not end up taking an unnecessary medication or a dangerous medication, says Danielle Plummer, Pharm.D., the founder of HG Pharmacist. For example, Excedrin has not only acetaminophen but also aspirin and caffeine, so avoid it.
Study Design And Population
The PRINCE study is conducted at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and was initiated in 2011. Inclusion criteria were maternal age of 18 years or higher and a viable singleton pregnancy at gestational week 1214. Women with chronic infections , known substance abuse, who were smoking, had multiple pregnancies or pregnancies conceived after assisted reproductive technologies were excluded. Pregnant women were invited to three antenatal visits, once per trimester . Data on the assessment of relevant covariables is described in detail elsewhere . All study subjects signed informed consent forms and the study protocol was approved by the ethics committee of the Hamburg Chamber of Physicians .
At the time of analyses, the PRINCE study sample consisted of 620 women. To be included in the present analysis, data on analgesic intake had to be available for each trimester, which was the case for 518 women. For analyses, only those women with no analgesic intake at all were compared to those with Paracetamol medication. Hence, women relying only on other analgesic medication such as ibuprofen were excluded from further analyses . Cord blood could be obtained from women delivering at the UKE and analyzed for hematopoietic stem cell .
Flow chart of the study sample.
Abbreviations used: FACS, fluorescence-activated cell sorting.
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What Medications Should I Avoid When Im Pregnant
Starling recommends against taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen during pregnancy. Thats because in the first trimester, these drugs are linked to an increased risk of spontaneous abortions, and in the third trimester, there are concerns about fetal kidney issues, and other issues with the fetus, she says.
A study published in 2018 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that NSAID use in women around conception was associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, especially in women with a lower body mass index .
The FDA issued a safety warning in 2020 that recommends avoiding NSAIDs in pregnancy at 20 weeks or later because they can result in low amniotic fluid and may cause rare kidney problems in unborn babies.
These Surprising Safer Alternatives May Be A Better Choice
Mothers-to-be get headaches and upset stomachs just like everyone else. So its not surprising that most pregnant women have used over-the-counter medications. In fact, some data suggest that, overall, women are actually more likely to use certain medicationsincluding cough and cold drugs and acetaminophen after they become pregnant.
Theres a misperception that if a drug is available over-the-counter, that its approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so it must be safe for everyone, including pregnant women, Allen Mitchell, M.D. professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health and Medicine, said. Even doctors may think this is the case. But some OTC drugs have been shown to pose risks to the developing fetus at different stages of pregnancy.
To help you and your doctor make more informed choices about which medications to take, weve identified 10 common ingredients used in OTC drugs that are risky for pregnant women, as well as safer alternatives.
Even then, you should use alternatives judiciously, and only as advised by your health care provider. Experts refer to safer medications because for 98 percent of prescription and OTC drugs, there simply isnt enough data to say for sure that a drug is entirely safe to take during pregnancy. Due to ethical concerns, most FDA-approved medicines have not been tested in pregnant women.
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What Pregnant Women Can Take For A Cold
Safe to take: Benadryl, Sudafed, Afrin nasal spray, Claratin, Robitussin DM, Vicks Formula 44, Halls cough drops
Few women get through nine months without cold or allergy symptoms. The safest way to go is to try non-drug remedies: Rest, drink lots of fluids especially warm ones and use a saline nasal spray to help relieve stuffiness. If cold or allergy symptoms interfere with your ability to eat or sleep, it’s normal to wonder, “what medicine can I take while pregnant?” But according to Dr. Park., “Pretty much all of the over-the-counter meds for common cold are thought to be safe.” One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of combination meds, such as Tylenol Cold, that treat multiple symptoms, such as a runny nose and cough and fever. But if the only cold symptoms you have are a headache and stuffy nose, why would you take a medication that also treats a cough? “Rather than taking meds you don’t actually need, target only the symptoms you want to treat by buying drugs for each of your specific concerns,” says Dr. Park.
Look for the ingredient dextromethorphan, or DM, for a cough suppressant guaifenesin to loosen up mucus and pseudoephedrinem and phenylephrine, or PE, as a decongestant for a stuffy nose.
Please consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medications while pregnant.
What Advice Do You Have For A Migraine Sufferer Who Just Learned Shes Expecting
Instead of waiting until the first time you have a migraine attack while pregnant, Dr. Crystal recommends talking to your doctor to work out a treatment plan in case you get an attack.
When you find out youâre pregnant, youâll probably need to work with both your obstetrician and the health care provider you see for headache treatment. Make sure to mention all of the medications you take for headaches, including supplements, and other migraine symptoms.
With so many changes in your body, itâs important to âbe extra vigilant about avoiding triggers,â adds Dr. Crystal, and to avoid skipping meals, getting dehydrated, or developing poor sleep habits.
Of course, with pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and trouble sleeping, that could be easier said than done. But do your best to maintain healthy habits.
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Detailed Data On Paracetamol Intake During Pregnancy
Among women taking analgesics, the percentage of women using Paracetamol increases throughout pregnancy, while the percentage of women taking ibuprofen, the second most relevant analgesic drug, decreases . Of interest, between 9% and 14% of the women taking Paracetamol reported to have also taken at least one other analgesic, either as a combined product or by taking an additional drug. presents data regarding intake doses and duration for those women taking Paracetamol in the respective trimester if available. Overall, the majority of women took 500 mg Paracetamol/day and fell into the category of onetime users. Of note, the percentage of women in these groups decreased throughout the course of pregnancy. Concomitantly, an increasing percentage of women took between > 500 and 1500 mg Paracetamol . Also, the percentage of women taking Paracetamol over at least three continuous days increased from 18.7 to 33.3% in the third trimester. In accordance with these observations, both, the absolute Paracetamol dose and number of days per trimester with Paracetamol intake indicated that the majority of women took Paracetamol in low doses and at few days per trimester, although also higher intake doses and longer intake durations were observed for few women .
Taking Medicine During Pregnancy
There may come a time during your pregnancy when youre feeling under the weather and aren’t sure if you can take your regular over-the-counter medication. Some medications are safe to take during pregnancy. But others are not, or their effects on your baby may not be known.
When you meet with your doctor to confirm you’re pregnant, ask what meds are OK to take and what meds you need to find alternatives for. Your health care provider will weigh the risks and benefits to help you know what’s safe.
Also, tell your doctor about any alternative medicines or supplements you take, even if the label says “natural.” And if you get any new prescriptions while you’re pregnant, make sure the people who prescribe them know that you’re pregnant.
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Remedies For Migraines During Pregnancy
Migraines are intense headaches that can occur as a symptom of pregnancy. These are different from stress or tension headaches. It is also normal to experience your first migraine during pregnancy. Some studies have found a slight correlation between migraines and hormones. This makes questions about how to treat migraines naturally while expecting common.
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What Causes Headaches During Pregnancy
The primary culprits are pregnancy hormones, though there are many other causes of headaches during every stage of pregnancy. This type of pain can have lots of triggers, which means it can come on at any time. Some common causes:
- Hormones: Headaches are often an early sign of pregnancy and tend to begin during the first trimester when your hormone levels surge and blood volume increases.
- Trigger foods: Certain foods like cheese, chocolate, dairy and processed meats like bacon can trigger a headache in any trimester. Women who drink less caffeine in pregnancy may get withdrawal headaches.
- Sinus congration: If youre suffering from sinus congestion, a runny nose or allergies , a headache may accompany these symptoms.
- Dehydration: The dehydration that often goes hand in hand with nausea and vomiting can also cause your head to throb.
- High blood pressure: After week 20 in pregnancy, severe headaches may be related to high blood pressure. This may raise your risk of a number of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and premature delivery, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you notice this symptom.
Other causes can include:
- Low blood sugar levels
- Physical or emotional stress
On the bright side, at least for those already prone to migraines: Surging hormones during pregnancy might actually make those less-than-pleasant headaches less frequent.
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Using Painkillers When Pregnant
Some medicines, including painkillers, can harm your baby’s health.
Paracetamol is generally considered safe during pregnancy. Always check the packaging for the correct amount of tablets to take, and how often you may take them.
If you find you need to take paracetamol for more than a couple of days, you may need to speak to your GP.
Ibuprofen is sometimes recommended for headaches during pregnancy. You can only take this at certain times during your pregnancy. Always check with your GP, pharmacist or obstetrician before taking ibuprofen.
Check with your GP, pharmacist or midwife before taking any medication.
Why Does My Head Hurt
Women often experience tension headaches during the first trimester. It’s most likely because of fluctuations in hormones, says Sheena Aurora, M.D., director of the Swedish Headache Center, in Seattle. By the second trimester, she says, the pain subsides because the hormones are steadily high.
Of course, there are many other possible reasons for your throbbing head. Ask yourself, ‘Are my headaches being stimulated by something in my diet?’ says Lillian Schapiro, M.D., an OB-GYN in Atlanta. ‘What medications am I taking? What time of day are they happening? Is there anything I can change?’
In the third trimester, when you’re carrying a lot of additional weight, consider whether poor posture might be a factor in your headaches. The strain on your neck and shoulders could lead to muscle spasms, which can irritate nerves in the back of your head. Or you might develop muscle tightening and spasms from sleeping with your head in an unnatural position.
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