02What Pain Medications Can I Take During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy it is important to check with your doctor before taking any medication. Common headaches or colds can still happen during pregnancy, but you just need to be aware of what is safe to take while pregnant. Whatever you take orally for medications will also circulate to the developing fetus. This is why it is very important to consult your doctor for any over the counter medications you may want to take.
If you are dealing with a simple headache try some natural methods of headache relief first if you are able:
- a cold compress to your head/face
- drink plenty of water
- eat a little if you haven’t eaten much that day
- try to lay down to rest and even nap a bit if you can
- lack of water, sleep or food can cause headaches
- stress can also cause tension in the shoulders, neck and up into the back of the head, so if you have been reading a lot, working at a computer, tensing your shoulders/poor posture these can result in tension headaches. Try having a massage or even your partner rub your neck and shoulders with some lotion and then apply a heating pad which will release some tension and relax the muscles
If the pain is increasing and becoming unmanageable, you may need a pain reliever. If you have to take a pain reliever, doctors recommend taking acetaminophen pain relievers like Tylenol. Acetaminophen has been shown to be safe during pregnancy when used as directed. Do not take aspirin (Bayer, Excedrin) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) as studies indicate with these there is increased rate of miscarriage and birth defects. Taking acetaminophen occasionally is fine but if you find the need for it increases and you are taking it regularly, be sure to let your doctor know.
If you have been on regular medications for certain conditions (like blood pressure medication) you just need to make your OB aware of what you take, and he.she will review specifics with you about it. Your OB and primary care physician will work to fund additional \options for you or adjust dosages as needed.