Pregnancy is a condition, wherein the expecting mother has to be careful regarding her diet and medication. Whatever the mother consumes, gets absorbed into her body; and reaches the baby’s bloodstream, through the placenta. This is how the baby gets the required nutrients for his growth. So, if a pregnant woman consumes any medicine, it reaches the baby’s bloodstream too. This makes it important for the expecting mother to be very careful while using medication. Hence, they should avoid use of drugs that are not prescribed by the healthcare provider.
While some medication can prove fatal, some others can be consumed safely during pregnancy. The best method is to prevent diseases during pregnancy, by taking precautionary measures. However, there are some common conditions, like cough and cold, which can affect any pregnant woman. A basic understanding about safe medicines may prove helpful in such situations.
Medication and Pregnancy
So, extra care has to be taken while using medicines during pregnancy. Though you can use the ones prescribed by your doctor, self medication may prove fatal at times. It cannot be said that all medicines are harmful; because, there are some, which are considered safe. Unsafe medicines, when taken during the first trimester, can affect the fetal development, and may result in birth defects. During the second trimester, the nervous system of the baby can get affected. Medicines taken during the third trimester can cause breathing difficulties in newborns.
Apart from that, some medicines may cause complications in the mother. It has been observed that, certain medicines induce labor and bleeding. Sometimes, both the fetus and the mother may get affected. In short, wrong medicines can have effects, which can range from mild to severe, and even fatal. An ordinary person without any sound knowledge of medicines, may find it difficult to choose a pregnancy-safe drug; especially for common medical conditions, like cough and cold.
Use of Cough Drops During Pregnancy
Cough and cold are only minor health problems, which may sometimes subside without any treatment. However, persistent and forceful cough may lead to miscarriage or may induce labor. If you can manage without medicines, well and good. Otherwise, go through the ingredients before consuming any cough medication. In general, cough drops with dextromethorphan and guaifenesin are considered safe during pregnancy. A combination of both can also be used. Cough medication with pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine may affect the blood flow to the placenta.
Cough medicines with iodine and codeine should be avoided at any cost. If you can contact your gynecologist, then he/she will be the best person to prescribe a pregnancy-safe cough medicine. However, minimize the use of cough drops during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. You may also resort to some harmless home remedies, like steam inhalation. A mixture of honey and ginger juice may also provide relief. If your symptoms are severe, or are accompanied with other symptoms, like fever and pain, you have to seek medical attention.
Your healthcare provider knows your condition better than anyone else. So, follow your doctor’s advice rather than using over-the-counter medicines.