Taking painkillers duringpregnancy? Is it allowed?
If you have a threatening headache or are under the weather yet not sure which medicine to take since you are pregnant or breast feeding, then this blog is just for you.
We shall tell you which regular cold-fever-pain medications are not safe and what kind of painkillers can be taken during pregnancy.
“Pregnancy comes with several health issues…. Back ache, tooth pain, gum disease, constipation…
There are some who cannot tolerate even one ounce of pain, while there are others who can lift a mountain with a broken hand and not even utter an ‘ouch’. Most of us fall in the first category. But God save you if you are pregnant. Pregnancy by itself is not a smooth journey and if you are constantly attacked by headaches, sore muscles, fever and also dental pain, you are totally doomed.
In pregnancy, you just cannot take any over-the-counter medication to ward off the common flu. While there are medicines which are completely gestational friendly, there are medicines which you should avoid during your pregnancy period as those may hinder the development of the baby in the womb.
“You are pregnant, and it is an extraordinary gift. However, you don’t know it all. Don’t be shy and stop yourself from asking questions and clearing doubts with your doctor. Questions as silly as, “can I lift a spoon?” to as smart as “which medicines are safe to take” should be addressed.
Your doctor will give you alternatives to your prescribed doses by weighing the risks and benefits of your gestation period. Any surgery or treatment needed, such as eye or dental, will be postponed after pregnancy. Until then doctors will advise you to lessen the pain with painkillers.
Also, do inform your doctor if you take any natural supplements so that he ensures its safe in this phase or suggest an alternative. Further, if you consult any other doctor, make sure they know that you are pregnant; show them your reports, if need be, before they sign aprescription.
What Kind of Pain Killer is Safe during Pregnancy?
Generally any OTC medication should be avoided while you are pregnant. What you eat and what not should be thoroughly discussed with your health care provider. During the first trimester the growth of the fetal organs is rapid and drugs may hamper its complete development.
However, prenatal vitamins and most homeopathy medicines are safe for the moms.
For Relief from Pain
- Try resting as much as possible. Cold compress for headaches and hot compress for sore muscles will help you to a considerable extent.
- However, if the pain is unbearable, your doctor may prescribe ‘Acetaminophen’ (active component in Tylenol).
- Avoid using aspirins, diclofenac and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibrufen and naproxen.
- These medicines have reportedly increased the risk of miscarriages and birth defects.
For Common Cold
- Cold is a common thing in pregnancy. You will catch cold quite often due to low immunity.
- Although it is quite bothersome, try not consuming any kind of medication for cold and allergies.
- Drink warm fluids such as milk to soothe your throat.
- For nose blocks and stuffiness it is safe to use ‘Nasal Sprays’
- ‘Oxymetazoline’ found in medicines such as Afrin and Dristan, is perfect medicine for decongestion during pregnancy.
- Flu can turn serious in pregnant women and lead to pneumonia; therefore, it is advised to get a ‘Flu Shot’ for you and the baby during the flu season if you are in your second or third trimester.
- ‘Anti-histamine Chlorpheniramine’ is the safest anti-allergen for pregnancy.
- Drugs that contain ‘Loratadine’ as active ingredient should be avoided like plague during first trimester.
- The safest suppressant for cough ‘Dextromethorpan’, although cough goes by their own. They generally need little or no treatment.
For Heartburns, Constipation and Other Digestive Discomforts
- Heartburn, acidity and constipation are common complaints in pregnancy.
- Although most of these issues can be taken care by home remedies, if symptoms persist your doctor may recommend antacids.
- Safe antacid such as Calcium Carbonate or Sulcralfate, also known as Carafate will be prescribed to soothe acid reflux and heartburns.
- Colace and Metamucil are great drugs for constipation during pregnancy
When you will be in labour, you will have an option to get an Epidural shot. Unlike the myth that goes around this medicine, epidural is a completely effective relief for labour pain. And acupuncture, acupressure and massage therapy are great and natural alternatives for nausea and chronic back ache.