Medication, Pregnancy, and Fetal Development

medication favorite plusIn 2013, Remee Jo Lee experienced a miscarriage due to her then partner giving her mislabeled medication. Being pregnant puts women in a very tight situation. While it is an exciting time that aspiring mothers look forward to, carrying a developing human being takes a lot of work and can really do a number on the female body. During pregnancy, women can experience a multitude of conditions such as skin issues, eating problems, swelling, and other medical concerns. Due to the developing child absorbing nutrients from the mother’s body, certain medications that are usually used to address medical issues with minimal side effects can adversely affect the development of the baby. What makes things difficult is that a lot of the medications to avoid are the ones that are easy to obtain since they’re mostly over the counter drugs.

What you should avoid

Certain antibiotics such as tetracycline and streptomycin can have major effects on a child’s bone development. Taking aspirin can lead to placental tearing, and anticonvulsants may trigger premature births. Part of being pregnant also means hormonal changes, which can lead to acne breakouts; do not take anti-acne medication as they can lead to heart and brain defects in your baby.

Painkillers can affect your child in many ways, depending on what’s in them and how far into the pregnancy a woman is. According to a 2013 study by the CDC and Boston University, opioids can cause neural tube defects in the babies of women who are two months into their pregnancy. Physical defects are not the only risks that come with painkillers; a study on 64,000 Danish children showed that women who took acetaminophen increased the chances of their kids having ADD.

A more extreme example is the now-banned thalidomide, a drug used to modulate the immune system. Back in the late 1950s, women who used this drug found major limb growth issues for their children. Taking in too much Vitamin A leads to malformations of the skull, face, spine, and the associated organs. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are anti-depressants that, according to a 2006 statement by the FDA, increase the risk of a child having persistent pulmonary hypertension in addition to limb abnormalities and other malformations.

What can be done

The simplest way to address any possible medical concerns without medication is to take care of your lifestyle. Healthy eating, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking and drinking are great for both you and your child’s health. Some examples of alternative treatments are steam inhalation for clogged noses, and massages and yoga for pain and stress. When it comes to taking any medication, the best way to be sure is to consult your doctor – not just for knowing what drugs to avoid, but for whenever you feel that something is off. What could be a simple headache or case of nausea could be something detrimental to your child’s development.

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Guest Post by Writing Jackie

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