Pills During Pregnancy: A Warning for Moms

When I was pregnant, like most moms, I struggled with questions of what I could and could not put into my body. What should I avoid during pregnancy?  Could I eat Brie cheese?  Sliced Turkey?  My favorite sunny-side up eggs on toast?  How about a few sips of wine?  OK, and if so, when?

Pills During Pregnancy: A Warning for Moms

The food stuff was one thing — it’s a rite of passage for us modern moms and we know we have to just grit our teeth and bear it if we’re worried about being being healthy during pregnancy — but dealing with what medications were safe was a whole other STRESSFUL can of worms.  I got a HORRIBLE flu during my first trimester with my second baby Lachlan, when my oldest Hedley was just seven months old.  I still remember how awful it was not to be able to take NyQuil — I was sick for two weeks! I was up at night and could not sleep a wink.  At 2 a.m., I would stare at the different over-the-counter meds in our medicine cabinet like the proverbial “forbidden fruit.”  I begged my doctor but the answer came back loud and clear — NOPE!

You feel sort of ridiculous bothering your OB with questions about this stuff, but guess what mamas, bother away.  Nag and nag until the cows come home because truth of the matter is, you have to know FOR SURE that whatever you take is safe.

According to a New York Times article “Too Many Pills in Pregnancy,” published yesterday by awesome Personal Health Columnist Jane Brody, more and more mamas-to-be ARE taking medications when pregnant, often without a doctor’s supervision, and this is dangerous. Why?

Although many commonly taken meds are safe for unborn babies, according to the article, the Food and Drug administration estimates that 10 percent or more of birth defects result from unsafe meds taken during pregnancy.  According to another doctor interviewed in the article: “Many over-the-counter drugs were grandfathered in with no studies of their possible effects during pregnancy.”

“Bypassing their doctors, more and more women are using the Internet to determine whether the medication they are taking or are about to take is safe for an unborn baby,” Brody writes.  Meanwhile, another study mentioned in the article ha found that at least 25 websites with false information about which medications are safe or not.

Bottom line, you have to rely on your OB-GYN not Dr. Google.

Now, of course, some medications during pregnancy are safe, and are necessary for a whole slew of reasons. In the later stages my pregnancies I took progesterone and other meds because I was experiencing contractions and preterm labor symptoms. I was hospitalized over five times and received steroid injections to help the babies’ lungs develop.  It sucked, but I knew I had to do it, and my doctor was on board.

Wowsa, big wake up call here, guys.  Please spread the word to your pregnant friends!

Moms, did you take medications while you were pregnant?  Weigh in below — I LOVE hearing what you have to say. 

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