Is My Unborn Baby Safe? The Truth about Drinking, Pills, and More!
It’s always good to get your health in order before becoming pregnant—having regular medical and dental checkups, getting or staying in shape, and taking a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. If you’re actively attempting to become pregnant, it’s best to act as though you already are—especially in regard to drinking, smoking, and taking medications that can be hazardous during pregnancy.
But even the most perfect baby plans can go astray, and sometimes pregnancies aren’t planned at all! Realistically, should you be worried about what you did in the first few weeks of your unborn child’s life?
I took some medication.
It happens to almost every pregnant woman; shortly after taking that positive pregnancy test, your mind flashes back to the antibiotics you took recently, the allergy medicine you use each morning, or the Midol you’ve been taking for a week.
There’s often no need to panic. Very few medicines are clearly dangerous to your pregnancy, says Marjorie Greenfield, MD, associate professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at University Hospitals of Cleveland and the Case School of Medicine, and author of Dr. Spock’s Pregnancy Guide. “Most of the time, when we recommend not taking medicines, it’s because we don’t know enough clear safety data,” says Dr. Greenfield. “[W]hat pregnant woman is going to volunteer for a research study to see if a medication is going to be harmful to her pregnancy?”
Of course, there are some medicines that have been proven dangerous, continues Dr. Greenfield. “I think the best advice is if you’ve been on a medicine, ask your doctor whether there’s anything to be worried about.”
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