This post was funded under a grant to the March of Dimes Foundation from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Birth Defect and Developmental Disabilities and the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.
The excitement of finding out you are pregnant is almost palpable. There are so many things to start planning for and looking forward to. It can be easy to overlook some critical tips for a healthy pregnancy. One thing that many women don't think about is medication usage. Find out the truth about medication and pregnancy and how to do all you can to keep your baby safe and healthy.
Before we begin I wanted to share with you that 1 out of my 3 pregnancies I had to take medication while pregnant. It was a hard decision that as a mom I had to make.
I talked with my doctor and we decided the benefits of the medication outweighed the risks. Without the medication, I could have had serious health issues that would have also impacted my baby.
Medication and pregnancy is a topic that is close to me personally and I wanted to share with you and the truth behind it and how medications can affect you before, during and after a pregnancy.
Today I want to share with you facts and resources to help you understand this topic, so let's begin.
Did you know that approximately 9 out of 10 women in the United States will take medication during their pregnancy? This is a topic that concerns almost every mother-to-be! Let's be honest, almost every woman will face the decision of whether to take medication at some point before or during pregnancy.
The Truth About Medication and Pregnancy
It All Starts Before Conception
If you are planning to conceive it is important to start thinking about medication and pregnancy NOW. The medications you are taking can affect the very early stages of pregnancy. This can be happening BEFORE you even know you are pregnant.
The best course of action is to talk to your doctor about the medications you take and how to proceed while you are trying to conceive.
There are definitely times when taking a medication during pregnancy is advised. That is why it is critical to include your doctor in these decisions.
The Time In-Between Pregnancies is Important Too
Many women don't think about the importance of the interconception period….that time between pregnancies. The medications we take during those periods can affect our next pregnancy.
Lots of women have to take prescription and over the counter medications between pregnancies. It is important to discuss these with your doctor and find out how they could potentially impact your next pregnancy.
Keeping the lines of communication open with your doctor is so critical to making the right decisions about medication usage.
There Are a Lot of Unknowns
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the safety of many medications before and during pregnancy.
When studies are done to determine the safety of a medication those studies rarely include pregnant women.
Researchers do know that certain medications taken during pregnancy CAN cause birth defects, pregnancy loss, prematurity, infant death or even developmental disabilities.
ALL Medications Need to Be Considered
It is easy to remember to talk to your doctor about prescription medications you take, but what about all the other stuff you take???
Over the counter medications can be just as dangerous to your unborn child.
Health supplements, vitamins, and even herbs can have an effect on the pregnancy. Be sure to talk to your doctor about EVERYTHING you take!!
Make Informed Decisions
There is an information overload out there for pregnant women. Unsolicited advice is given by friends, co-workers and even strangers at the store, LOL.
We are also prone to just doing internet searches for anything that pops into our heads.
- Why It is Important to Look for Baby's Milestones
- 5 Ways I'm Improving My Health This Year
- How This Simple Step Can Protect Your Unborn Child
The problem is we sometimes get bad information. It is so important to make informed decisions relating to your pregnancy.
Treating for Two is a great online resource for women who are thinking about conceiving or already have a baby on the way. You can learn the basics of why medication and pregnancy matter, find the latest research and download useful tools to use at home.
It is All Worth It in the End
Taking the time to find out the truth about medication and pregnancy is worth it in the end. There is nothing better than giving birth to a healthy baby!
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Your turn: What are your thoughts and opinion about medication and pregnancy? Share your experience with us!
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