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Are you taking OTC medication when pregnant?

Even the simplest pill for common cold needs to be cleared by your doctor before you take it. Do not compromise your child’s safety for any reason.

The lifecycle of your unborn baby is a wondrous process. Your baby’s body and physical responses to various stimuli change every single day. As such, you have a huge role to play in the proper development of your child. The food and drink that you consume, the exercise and rest that you partake of and your attention to your baby’s needs all serve to create a healthy baby at birth.

However, you could be doing a few things wrong – and these could potentially compromise the health of your baby. While not paying attention to one’s diet is one of the primary mistakes an expectant mother can make, another one is taking medication without consulting a doctor.

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We list a few pregnancy facts related to taking medication during this crucial time:

* The medicines your doctor prescribes are safe to consume, provided you have given all details about your medical history, lifestyle, eating habits, etc. Not providing all the information can be potentially dangerous if the doctor prescribes the wrong medication or an allergenic one.

* You may develop a common cold or fever at any stage of your pregnancy. These may be seasonal health problems and not related to your pregnancy at all. However, taking an OTC pill for the same could pose a risk to your baby. Certain chemicals and substances found in OTC medication for pain relief and to alleviate discomfort can cause a range of problems for the foetus, ranging from breathing disorders to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).[1] OTC medicines are not tested on pregnant women, so tread with caution.

* Taking medication without consulting your doctor is especially risky in the early stages of your pregnancy. The baby’s organs grow quickly in the first trimester and he is vulnerable to toxins and chemicals in the medicines you take.[2]

* Herbal, Ayurvedic or Homoeopathic medicines may not be entirely safe for you, either. Some of them may contain large amounts of lead, which could be harmful for the foetus. Mention the herbal or other naturopathic medicines you take when your doctor prescribes prenatal vitamins and other medications to you.[3]

* You have to be especially careful if you contract such diseases as malaria and dengue, which require hospitalisation and oral medication. Your Ob-gyn and the consulting doctors must work closely together to effect the best treatment plan. If you develop a dental problem or even kidney stones, you might need to wait till the pregnancy is over to take treatment so as to prevent a conflict in medical treatment plans.

* Using topical creams and pain-relieving ointments may be fine, but do consult your doctor just to be sure.

[1] http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/05/10-over-the-counter-drugs-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/index.htm

[2] http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/is-it-safe/which-medications-are-safe-when-pregnant/

[3] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/medicines-in-pregnancy.aspx

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