Healthy Pregnancy: Safeguarding Against Harmful Medications

With pregnancy comes a number of sickening symptoms: nausea, fatigue, cramps and the rest. These sickening symptoms are considered normal in as much things don’t become complicated__ talk of anemia, high blood pressure, infections, diabetes and others.  Pregnancy itself is not a sickness; we know. It is a fortunate condition. Even  when accompanied by sickness, the situation is not yet unfortunate until….until one discovers that there are limited treatment options. Why?


Because a lot of medicines/ medical procedures are considered too effective to be baby proof. Like a situation where one is too qualified to be employed. So medicines are recommended and given with caution; usually under strict medical care. Oh! The fear of admission!


Doctors warn against seeking alternative treatment without professional consent. The case here is

safeguarding against harmful medications during pregnancy.


Drugs are administered to alleviate symptoms, cure ailments or reduce the impacts of terminal diseases. In the case of pregnant women, the same medications meant to better the conditions of mothers can have harmful effects on the growing fetus. The effects ranges from gestational termination to congenital deformities. Drugs which could result in either consequences are called teratogens. Teratogens can be in the form of:


  • Chemicals
  • Drugs (natural and herbal medicines inclusive)
  • Radiation
  • Maternal infections.

Planning for a Healthy Pregnancy

Although there are many drugs safe to use during pregnancy, the great concern is how to fathom which and what drugs are safe, whether to continue a previous medication, knowing the right dosage and so on. Really, those weeks of baby bearing are the worst times to fall sick. But neither pregnancy nor sickness is predictable. We can only take certain measures to ensure that it begins well, progresses fine and ends good.

Before Conception

For every beautiful architecture, a worthwhile planning must have taken place. Experts recommend a number of necessary to dos  before conception in a bid to increase the chances of a disease free/complications free pregnancy. These includes;


  • Taking prenatal vitamins before conception.
  • Disease prevention for both parents. This can be done by ensuring that both partners are free from STDs and other communicable diseases or preventing its transmission from one to the other. Also, getting immunized against epidemics is very important.
  • Working towards a healthy BMI before conception.
  • Lifestyle adjustment before conception, like getting off cigarettes and alcohol.
  • Good nutrition and exercise to ensure overall wellbeing of the mother.
  • Treating or managing pre existing diseases and conditions.

After conception

  • Caregivers advise pregnant women to start antenatal ASAP so as to ascertain that the fetus is developing normally and rule out irregularities in the health condition of mothers. This is to be followed up by timely antenatal checks, tests and appointments with specialists when the need arises.
  • Use of antenatal vitamins to guard against vitamin deficiency and its attendant results.
  • Good nutrition to ensure that both baby and mother are not being malnourished.
  • Adequate management of preexisting conditions like regular glucose check for diabetic mothers and continuation of treatment routines.
  • Avoiding pollution and contaminations which may lead to infections.
  • Prompt professional diagnosis of symptoms and treatment of illnesses to prevent its deterioration.
  • Exercising caution as regards the use of medications except those prescribed by caregivers.

Common Stuffs That Could Pose Medical Threats

Many pregnant women are aware that smoking alcohol, drug abuse and the use of other’s prescription, are discouraged during pregnancy. Despite this awareness, some medications like herbal medicines, OTC drugs, prescription drugs and medical creams seems too mild and popular to be considered harmful. However, some of these could pose health hazards to both mother and baby.

OTC Drugs

Someone once said a pregnant woman’s best friend is paracetamol/acetaminophen. This is probably because it is mostly recommended for pains and fever during pregnancy. However, research has confirmed that its use; more than 3 times a month throughout pregnancy could pose risks.

See: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320584.php to read more

Other OTC drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen and certain nutritional supplements are also not recommended for use during pregnancy because of their chemical composition..

Herbal and Natural Stuffs

A number of herbs and herbal products like chamomile, thyme, peppermint leaf and ginger root are marked safe for use during pregnancy. However, others like saffron, nutmeg, Ginseng, even ginger and Rosemary are found out to be dangerous when used in dosage amounts, not like the quantity used as spices.

Prescription Drugs

Certain prescription drugs like codeine, tramadol, morphine, tetracycline, methadone and others can pose medical threat to the mother and baby’s health. The reason for this could be drug interactions or overdose.

Medical Creams

 Although creams are mostly recommended for external use, its effect work deeper than the mere surface. Hence, milder creams are usually recommended to pregnant women. Potent ones used for a long period could be responsible for low birth weight, pre term birth etc.

Safe to Know

No drug or medication is confirmed 100% safe during pregnancy. Guard against over reliance and addiction on medicines.

Not all prescription medicines are safe. Many prescription drugs can cause premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, stillbirth etc.

See more @: mothertobaby.org

Pregnant women are advised not to take over the counter (OTC) medicines except when necessary and marked safe for their condition.

The natural nature of drugs and herbal medicines does not guarantee its safe use in pregnancy.

Let the physician be aware of your condition whether trying to conceive or pregnant so as to know which drug is safer for your condition.

After conception, show your prescription medications to your doctor so as to ascertain any side effects of the drugs on the baby. This simple act would also enable the doctor to know whether to recommend a more suitable medication or grant you the ‘go ahead’.

Avoid combination products: Products which claim to treat cold, cough and allergic reactions are likely to contain more potent elements which may be harmful to baby and mother’s health.

Get informed: read labels to know the ingredients contained in drugs, get updated on banned and outlawed drugs, expired medicines and so on.

Consider safe alternative therapies like exercise, massages, water therapy, acupuncture and so on.

Beware of treating pregnancy symptoms as sicknesses. Seek professional help in relieving yourself of nausea, backache, cramps etc. Just as you won’t be pregnant forever, these symptoms won’t abide forever.