Medicine and Home Remedies
It is best to avoid over-the-counter medicines, especially in the first ten weeks of pregnancy while your baby's heart, lung and brain systems are being formed. But this doesn't mean you must resign yourself to nine months of discomfort without relief in sight. Here are some safe home remedies for many common ailments.
- Prune juice can ease constipation.
Massage and heat can put an end to both leg cramps and backaches.
For a cold or cough, get plenty of rest and lots of fluids, and try sleeping with a cold mist vaporizer a foot and a half away from your face.
Insomnia can disappear if you make sure to eat a very digestible dinner a few hours before bedtime, make sure your bed is as comfortable as possible, have your neck and head massaged, and take a warm bath.
Cold, dark places or a neck and spine massage can alleviate headaches.
You can ease morning sickness with frequent snacking, by avoiding heavy, fatty foods, and drinking lots of liquids.
Prevent heartburn by eating smaller meals more often, remaining upright for an hour after eating, and avoiding spicy or greasy foods. You could also try eating yogurt or drinking milk.
Once your baby is more than ten weeks along, there are several over-the-counter medications that you can take safely, so long as you take them as directed and talk to your doctor first.
- For cold symptoms and allergies, try the antihistamine Chlortrimeton, decongestant Sudafed, and antihistamine and decongestant Actifed.
For a cough and sore throat, try Robitussin.
For heartburn, take Amphogel, Gelusil, or Maalox, but do NOT take baking soda or Pepto Bismol.
For constipation, try Docusate, Metamucil, and Milk of Magnesia. Call your caregiver for recommended dosages. But do NOT take mineral oil.
For headaches and body aches, anything with acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, should be fine so long as you're taking no more than 650 mg every four hours. Do NOT take aspirin or ibuprofen, unless directed to do so by your physician. If your symptoms persist or involve a fever, let your caregiver know.
For one reason or another, it may become necessary for your caregiver to prescribe a medication during your pregnancy. If so, take the medicine exactly as prescribed and, if it's an antibiotic, take it until all the medicine is gone. Your caregiver knows that the healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be, so they will work with you to make sure that you and your baby can start your life together strong and well.