About 6 million women become pregnant in the United States each year. It is estimated that 50 percent of pregnant women take at least one prescribed medication, and 90 percent take an over the counter medication. Yet, most medications have not been adequately studied for their impact on pregnancy and childbirth.
Your physician plays an important role in helping you make informed choices about the medications you take during pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration has developed a Medicine and Pregnancy website that provides valuable patient education and resources to help facilitate this conversation. Visit the FDA’s website here: https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/WomensHealthTopics/ucm117976.htm
The site also includes information on food safety, breast pumps, as well as tips for new moms. Some of the highlights are as follows:
- Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any medications, herbs or vitamins.
- Check the drug label and other information that comes with the medication to learn about possible risks for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You may need to change your medication to avoid unnecessary risks.
- Update your medications with your doctor when you start breastfeeding.
- Report any serious medication side effects to your doctor as soon as possible.
Pregnancy is an exciting time for women but they may have questions and concerns about how to take medications that may affect their baby. We offer this advice so we can help make a woman’s pregnancy happier and healthier. If you are pregnant, stay in close contact with your doctor so he or she can monitor your medications as well as your baby.
~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed and the FMHC Team