This Is Why I Don't Take Pain Meds During Pregnancy

Jenny Benjamin

pillsMedicines have always made me a little squiggy, whether it's over-the-counter cold remedies or antibiotics. Call me crazy, but I kind of sense them coursing through my body, like a low-grade drug haze that leaves me feeling just a bit "off." Those possible side effects? I always seem to get 'em. And once I got pregnant, I started thinking that it might do the same thing to my babies. So, I swore off pain meds. Not to be a martyr or anything, but I felt it was better to be safe than sorry -- I could suffer through a few hormone headaches for the sake of my children.

Well, a recent study found that taking acetaminophen during pregnancy puts your child at an increased risk of developing asthma. Now, I hate to say this, but ... "I KNEW IT!"

Research led by Professor Richard Beasley at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand found that "paracetamol [also known as acetaminophen] used at any stage of pregnancy was associated with a subsequent 21% increased risk of asthma in children between 2.5 and 7 years old." And according to another recent study, the use of stronger pain meds like codeine or oxycodone during the first trimester increases your baby's chance of having birth defects.

So I don't feel so silly anymore for swearing off OTC medicines during my pregnancy. It seems a small price to pay.

Will you still take acetaminophen during your pregnancy?


Image via worack/Flickr

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