Painkillers During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, treating simple illnesses can prove to be complicated. You might be tempted to use the remedies that you would normally use. Then again, you are not sure about how safe they are in your current state. Treating common aches during pregnancy becomes an issue since you are not sure if painkillers are good for the baby. This article will focus on taking painkillers during pregnancy. Read on and find out which ones are safe and which ones are not.

Taking Painkillers During Pregnancy?

Generally, you should try avoiding any unnecessary medication when you are pregnant, especially during the first trimester. During this time, the baby’s organs develop quickly, making them very vulnerable to potential risks of medications. When deciding on treatment, both the doctor and expectant mother should balance the risks and benefits of using painkillers.

Safe to Take

If you have a history of headaches, pregnancy will probably make it worse. You can rest and use a cold compress to relieve muscle pain and headaches during pregnancy. If you need additional relief, the doctor can recommend acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol. Both the extra-strength and regular form of Tylenol are safe to take. Ensure you follow the dosage written on the package and you will be fine. The safest painkillers during pregnancy are paracetamols without any added ingredients.

Should Be Avoided

If you want to take painkillers during pregnancy such as ibuprofen, consult your doctor first. Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammation medication like aspirin might increase the risk of miscarriage. The health department also does not recommend taking ibuprofen in the third trimester since it increases the risk heart problems that result in high blood pressure in the baby’s lungs and can also reduce the amount of amniotic fluid that the baby floats in. If you have a chronic health condition that requires anti-inflammatory medicine, your doctor will advise you on that.

Opioids are another type of painkillers commonly prescribed by doctors that should be avoided during pregnancy. A study reported that some birth defects like heart defects are related to use of opioids in the early stages of pregnancy. Researchers from a different study also found that opioids increased the risk of spina bifida when used during pregnancy.

Remedies for Relieving Pain During Pregnancy

Instead of taking painkillers during pregnancy, there are various remedies which work for different types of pain:

  1. Static nerve pain:It is caused by the release of relaxin hormone that loosens the pelvic joints connections, making the muscles tense to accommodate the extra weight. As a result, pressure is felt on the nerves in your legs.You can reduce this pain bychanging your sleeping and sitting position, posture as well as exercise. An experienced physical therapist should be consulted.
  2. Abdominal and stomach pains: You might feel bloated, gassy or have a tummy ache. A simple herbal remedy is peppermint. You can add a drop of peppermint essential oil in your water or try a lifesaver candy before trying stronger options.
  3. Back pains: They are probably the most common pains during pregnancy. Wearing comfortable shoes are also helpful. To ensure you get ample support from your shoes, you can add an insole with cushiony padding. In addition, your sitting position, posture and type of pillows you use play a big role in reducing backaches. Use a body pillow when sleeping, and avoid sleeping on your back by keeping your knees bent. To ease back pain, you can alternate between warm and cold packs. The warm pack will relax your muscles and increase circulation while the cold pack will ease any swelling.

Other natural pain remedies you can try instead of painkillers during pregnancy include:

  • MassageIt helps relieve hip discomfort and back pain during pregnancy. Ensure that a professional prenatal masseuse does your massage for the sake of your comfort.
  • Arnica gel: Not only does it relieve back pains and joint swelling, but it also helps with varicose veins.
  • Frankincense essential oil: It contains anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve headaches and sore joints during pregnancy. Add a teaspoon of the oil and smooth over your skin or add into your bath. Unless advised otherwise by a doctor, do not ingest essential oils.
  • Prenatal yoga:This exercise can help in relieving headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, nausea and lower back pain. Prenatal yoga is generally gentle, but you need to check with your doctor first to avoid preterm labor.
  • Chiropractic care: This method uses hands-on pressure to align any misalignments of the spine gently. Pregnant women who have opted for this have long-term back pain relief.
  • Acupuncture: It is a safe and effective way of dealing with joint pain, sciatica, backache, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain and pelvic pain during pregnancy. You can experience the effects right on the spot. Be careful when seeking this treatment and ensure the specialist has dealt with pregnant women before.
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