Pregnancy is a period of safety and care. One wrong move can cost your baby’s life and also make him susceptible to lifelong deformities and disorders. Any drug taken during pregnancy must therefore be under the supervision of your gynaecologist and must be deemed safe for taking during pregnancy. Many women make the mistake of asking over- the – counter medication without the advice of a doctor and put themselves and their babies in serious trouble. Sometimes these mistakes lead to very serious deformities that cannot be changed. Harmful medications are of course not limited to only the entire nine months of pregnancy.
There are medications that must be stopped well before pregnancy as well in order to stop its action on your body. Some harmful medicines are known to exert its action on the body up to three years. Therefore, if you are under any medication and would like to be pregnant, ensure that you talk to your doctor about it before going ahead with your plans. Here are certain advises that you must stick to in order to keep your baby sound and healthy.
Prescription Medications Must be Monitored Carefully
At times, prescription medicines too can have ill effects on the baby. But doctors sometimes prescribe it for chronic illnesses that need to be controlled. This is done after carefully weighing the benefits and risks and only if the benefits outweigh the risks is it prescribed. Take these medications only with the consent and supervision of the doctor and also only until he prescribes it. Never continue to take it without consulting your doctor. Diseases like epilepsy, asthma, HIV, depression etc. may sometimes require medicines without which there could be serious health risks.
Beware of Natural Remedies During Pregnancies
Many of us have a general belief that natural remedies are completely safe during pregnancy and take them without thinking about the possible dangers associated with it. Natural cures may not necessarily be safe when you are pregnant. There are a number of herbal remedies that are unsafe during pregnancy and can even lead to a miscarriage. Speak to a herbalist before consuming any herbal preparations during pregnancy.
Also avoid herbs that you have never heard of and that have been recommended by people for various illnesses. They could be safe otherwise, but not during pregnancy. Herbal teas must also be avoided during pregnancy. Many herbs used for making teas could initiate a contraction and resultant preterm labour. It’s always good to take doctor’s advice before taking them.
Letter Categories of Medications
Learning to understand the letter categories on the medication will help you keep away from consuming them during pregnancy. Each letter in the category helps you to identify the level of danger associated with that medicine while you are pregnant. The letters that you have to watch out for are;
Category A– There is no harm in consuming these medications during pregnancy as they are deemed safe.
Category B– This category of drugs has been safely tested on animals, but may not be safe in pregnant women. Always check with your gynaecologist before taking them.
Category C– These drugs are harmful for animals. Their safety on humans has not been proven. Thus you must avoid these drugs as well.
Category D– This category of drugs must be taken with extreme caution as they can cause birth defects on the babies. But sometimes they might have to be administered when the benefits outweigh the risks.
Category X– Category X is extremely harmful for the baby and the mother and must be avoided completely by pregnant women.
Avoid Over the Counter Medications During Pregnancy
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The habit of taking over the counter medications for aches and pains must be stopped during pregnancy. Many over the counter medicines are not safe during pregnancy. Drugs like ibuprofen which we administer to kids for fever is not at all safe during pregnancy as most pregnant women assume. Other drugs to keep away from are aspirin and naproxen. All these drugs prevent clotting of blood and can cause problems with the flow of blood in the baby.
Importance of Reading Labels in Medications
No one is free from making mistakes. Sometimes the doctor may have made a mistake or the pharmacist may have given you the wrong medication. Always read the labels on the medicine and ensure that it is the same one prescribed by the doctor. If you have any doubt about the medicine prescribed by the doctor, never shy away from asking. It could save your baby’s life. Many medications will have labels where pregnant women are advised to consult the doctor before taking them.
You Can Look for a Less Harmful Variety Drug for Pregnancy
Women who have chronic illnesses and require medications for controlling them, do not have many options before them but take these medications to avoid complications. However, in such cases, they can look for medicines in the same class which are less harmful for the baby. All drugs may not have the same harmful effect on the baby. Some may be less harmful and hence a better choice during pregnancy. Your doctor can help you identify the best option available for you at this time.
Check the Time Frame of Medications
Also important is to assess the time frame during which the medications can be administered safely on pregnant women. There are certain medications that must be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy. Other medications could be there which are safe to be administered all throughout pregnancy but must be avoided in the last few weeks t avoid complications.
Some acne medications are known to cause serious birth defects if they are taken in the first trimester and immediately before you become pregnant. These medications must therefore be stopped well before you plan your pregnancy.
Certain psoriasis drugs are known to cause defects in the baby even after three years of stopping consumption. Therefore, it is important to talk to the doctor about all the medications you consume when you are in the planning stage itself. The effects of many medications have not been studied on pregnant women and hence doctors themselves are sometimes not clear about their safety. It is therefore recommended to avoid all medications unless it is of absolute necessity.