Health & Fitness

Do you know what meds are safe to take while pregnant?

Even in our high-tech era, pregnancy still seems a bit magical. So it’s not surprising that there have always been some pretty far-out ideas about what to do and not do for those nine months. For example, it once was thought that looking at a mouse while pregnant meant your baby would have a hairy birthmark.

Fortunately, moms-to-be don’t worry about that these days! But a study in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy reveals that some women still mistakenly forgo medications that can make them feel better and PROTECT a developing fetus. For instance, some moms-to-be aren’t taking medications for urinary tract infections, and that can trigger a kidney infection, which can harm the fetus by causing early labor and low birth weight. Women also might avoid acetaminophen, but it won’t harm the fetus and can ease discomfort.

Plus, some pregnant women think a flu shot is risky, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends it and studies show that it protects newborns from life-threatening influenza. And DO NOT SKIP prenatal vitamins with DHA omega-3! Taking those three months prior to pregnancy decreases autism spectrum disorders by up to 40 percent, reduces childhood cancers up to age 6 by 65 percent, and decreases spina bifida by about 85 percent.

But caution is smart: One study found that there wasn’t enough info about safety during pregnancy for 90 percent of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration from 1980-2000. So, if you’re pregnant, work with your doc to decide what meds and supplements you need and what you can safely do without.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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