Medicines for Moms
Rest is the best thing. See Pain Relief.
Many women can stay on their allergy medicine during pregnancy. It you just need an antihistamine occasionally; Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) or Chlortimaton are fine. Remember that many decongestants, like Afrin (Oxymetazoline HCL), can cause dependence or rebound congestion.
Backache is common in pregnancy. Hot water bottles are great for around the house. Heating pads and hot baths help too, so does a massage from a loving family member or friend. Back support belts can be bought at some maternity stores. See Pain Relief.
Most prenatal vitamins have very little calcium in them, usually 200mg (Natafort has no calcium). You need 1200 mg of Calcium every day to build your baby’s bones. You can get your calcium from your diet or a supplement. To get all the calcium from your diet you would have to eat and drink 4 portions (300mg) a day: an 8oz glass of milk, a cup of yogurt, a large portion of cheese, or a bowl of ice cream. If you don’t like milk, that is not a problem.
Don’t drink a lot of chocolate milk just to get calcium. 8oz Tropicana Pure Premium calcium fortified orange juice has 350mg of calcium. The Viactive chocolate chews have 5OOmg of calcium in each square. At the end of the day, while brushing your teeth, count up how much calcium you have had for the day. Take the calcium that is missing as a calcium tablet or Tums. There is a 600mg extra strength Tums and a 400mg regular strength Tums.
Colds are usually caused by viruses, so an antibiotic will not help in most cases. All you can do is treat each symptom.
Do not use Sudafed or decongestants in the first trimester. After the first trimester, you may use Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine HCL) to help congestion. In the last month of pregnancy please ask us about using Sudafed, which can raise your blood pressure. Remember that many decongestants, like Afrin (Oxymetazoline HCL), can cause dependence or rebound congestion. If you have old decongestants in your cabinet, make sure they do not contain phenylpropanolamine; it has been pulled from the market.
Constipation is easy to prevent. Ask for a prenatal vitamin with a stool softener in it. Drink lots of fluids. Buy a stool softener called Docusate Sodium (Colace). It is a red gel capsule. Take 2 at night with half glass of water, if you did not have a soft, painless bowel movement that day. This will prevent constipation the following day. If you need the stool softener every night that is all right. It will not harm the baby. It will not cause you to be dependent on it like a laxative can. If you are still having hard stools using docusate sodium at night, start drinking a teaspoon full of Metamucil (powdered fiber) every morning in a glass of water. Cereals with good fiber are "All Bran with Extra Fiber", "Raisin Bran" and "Fiber One." If you already have bad constipation, use Milk of Magnesia or a Fleet enema or both. Rectal Glycerin suppositories are safe. See Hemorrhoids for more information.
Use Robitussin (Guaifenesin) with or without DM = dextromethorphan. Check to be sure the product does not contain alcohol. Cough drops are fine. For strong coughs, ask us for a prescription cough suppressant.
You can use Kaopectate or Imodium (Loperamide HCL), over-the-counter. If this does not work, ask us for a prescription medicine. Remember to drink lots of fluids, especially sports drinks.
Call the office if you have a fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. For lower fever, use Tylenol. See Pain Relief for doses. Remember to drink a lot of fluids and rest.
Use products with Simethicone or Mylicon (Mylanta Gas or Maalox Anti-Gas) or a generic brand. Drops, tablets and gel tabs are all fine.
Headaches can be frequent in early pregnancy. See Pain Relief. There are prescription pain medications for migraines.
Heartburn and Indigestion
Heartburn or Indigestion is common all through pregnancy. Tums often help - see Calcium. You can also use Maalox or Mylanta. Do not use Pepto-Bismol or other products containing Bismuth. Avoid Alka-Seltzer (contains Aspirin). Talk to your doctor about Zantac or Prilosec.
Ligament Pain is the most common from 15 - 20 weeks for pregnancy. The ligaments that hold the uterus in place begin stretching. The pains are usually sudden and sharp in the lower pelvic area. They do not last a long time. These pains are harmless. Contact us for any sharp pains that last for a long time, or if there is also a fever.
Nausea and Vomiting
This usually gets better after the first trimester, unless it is caused by illness. If none of your tricks are working, ask us about a prescription.
Tylenol is the only over-the-counter that you can use. NSAIDS like Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) are not safe in late pregnancy. We do use them in certain situations, but please only take them when we advise it. Avoid Aspirin, also. Tylenol (Acetaminophen) is safe for the baby, if taken correctly. Regular strength Tylenol is 325mg.; two every 4 hours is the correct dose. You may take three regular strength Tylenol for very strong pain. Extra strength Tylenol is 5OOmg.; two every 6 hours is the correct dose for very strong pain. Try to take just 1½ extra strength tablets or 2 regular strength tabs. Never take three extra strength tablets. If this does not help enough, ask us. There are prescription pain relievers we can give you.
Every pregnant woman should be taking vitamins. Non-prescription prenatal vitamins are fine. If you are having trouble taking a prenatal vitamin because of nausea, constipation, or some other reason, please discuss it with us. We can find solutions for most problems. Taking the vitamin with your largest meal or before bedtime usually decreases problems.
Antihistamines dry up body fluids. Chlortimaton and Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) work well. Please drink lots of fluids if you take them.
The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in the body. It runs from the buttocks down the back of the legs. This nerve gets irritated easily in pregnancy and produces sharp pains. These pains are harmless, but they can make movement difficult. Pain relievers may help some. A few women will need to get physical therapy, which can help a lot. Some women will need to limit activity.
Women complain the most about trouble sleeping at the end of pregnancy. One or two Benadryl 25mg, 1 hour before bed is not harmful to the baby and may help you sleep. If you need more help, ask us.
Cough drops and throat lozenges.
A hot steam vaporizer at night will help many symptoms. See Pain Relief.
In pregnancy the body is much sweeter. Yeast loves this. You can help prevent yeast by avoiding a very sugary diet (including drinks and starches). Taking acidophilus (healthy milk bacteria) wards off yeast. It is found as a tablet or in certain milk and yogurt, if the label says so. Avoid yogurt with sugar in it. Take twice a day, if you have yeast or are on an antibiotic, otherwise once a day is enough. All over-the-counter yeast medications are o.k. all through pregnancy.