Pregnancy means that you are sharing whatever you put into your body with your fetus. This includes medication as well as nutrition. Each trimester has a different part of the fetus developing, from its internal organs in the earliest months to the final stages right before birth. As a result, the medications that you can safely take will change from month to month.
During the first trimester your fetus is at his or her most delicate. You will want to avoid taking any medication that you do not need to take. This means that you may have to suffer though a few colds. During the second and third trimester you will not have to worry as much. Your baby will be much more formed and much less susceptible to medications.
One thing that is always safe to take during pregnancy is your neonatal vitamins. These have been specially formulated to provide you and your developing baby with all of the nutrition necessary throughout most of your pregnancy. Other vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements have not been designed for pregnancy. Always check them with your doctor before use.
For colds and allergies you will have a few safe options. Always try to use non-drug options first. Saline nasal sprays and salt water gargles can provide much relief from stuffed sinuses and sore throats. Most doctors believe that the antihistamine chlorpheniramine is the safest option for a cold. It has been used for years by pregnant woman with no ill effects to mother or child. If you need more than a saline nasal spray for sinuses, a spray containing oxymetazoline is best. For a bad cough, try products containing dextromethorphan. Avoid products containing iodine. They can cause thyroid problems in the fetus.
In general, colds are no risk to a healthy fetus. They are merely uncomfortable for you. Try to remain hydrated and get plenty of rest to quickly fight off the infection.
A case of the flu is different than a cold. A severe flu can threaten the life of both you and your baby. It can develop into pneumonia if untreated. A flu shot is recommended if you are in your second or third trimester.
The most common complaints of pregnant woman are with their digestive systems. Luckily, there are safe treatments. Heartburn is best treated with preventive measures. Try sleeping on a slight incline, raising your head above your stomach, preventing acid from traveling up your throat. Avoid large or spicy meals in the evening. If that fails, calcium carbonate is a safe mild treatment. If needed, your doctor may proscribe sucralfate, a drug that will coat your intestinal track.
Constipation is best treated with a fiber rich diet and lots of water. A gentle exercise routine may help you to move things along. Medically, you can take bulk fiber laxatives. Avoid stimulate laxatives as some can trigger labor. Hemorrhoids are an unfortunate side effect of constipation. Products containing glycerin or witch hazel are the best.
When it comes to other drugs, such as depression medication or antibiotics, most are considered safe. But, some have side effects best avoided. Your doctor should know about any medication that you take routinely.