Taking Medications While Pregnant

Most of us think twice before taking any type of medicine when pregnant. But, sometimes medication is necessary. We’ll run through the most common over-the-counter medications typically found in bathroom cabinets to determine what’s safe and what you should avoid.

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Preggie Pals
“Taking Medications While Pregnant”
Episode 17, August 20th, 2012

Please be advised that this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may have altered the accuracy of the transcription.


[Theme Music]

Sara Qaderi : Knowing what medications you can and you can’t take while pregnant can be difficult. Especially when there is so little many research on what is safe or unsafe for moms to be. I am Sara Qaderi, a pregnant mom and a Pharmacist with the Sharp Grossmont Hospital. And today we are discussing common over-the-counter medications to see what’s best for you and your baby. This is Preggie Pals, Episode 17.

[Theme Music/Intro]

Sunny Gault : Welcome to Preggie Pals, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. I am your host Sunny Gault. Have you subscribed to our Preggie Pals Newsletter yet? It is a great way to learn more about our latest episodes and also learn ways on how you can get involved with our show. You can subscribe to the website http://www.preggiepals.com and you can now take Preggie Pals with you wherever you go with our free apps which are available on Android and Apple devices. You can listen to our most recent episodes through the app. You can Starr your favorite episodes and you can get instant access to all of our social networking sites. Also, Preggie Pals is looking for panelists, bloggers and experts to join our team. If you want some more information on that visit our website. Let’s meet our panelists in the studio today. Jackie, sitting back come on up to the mike, Jackie. Okay, tell me about yourself?

Jackie Kleber : I am Jackie Kleber, I am 25 years old. I am Birth Doula; my due date is November 29th with a surrogate baby girl. I have one child, he is 3 years and I am gonna have an unmedicated hospital birth.

Misty Davies : My name is Misty Davies, I am 33 years old. I am a Gemologist, I am due October 10th. It’s a little girl and I am hoping for unmedicated hospital birth.

Kate Gittins : My name is Kate Gittins, I am 29 years and I am a Sales Representative for Pearson Education. My due date is August 30th and I am not finding out what we are having until the baby comes. This is my first child and I would like to have a hospital medicated birth.

Rabeka Harrison : Hi, I am Rabeka Harrison, I am a Skin Professional with Mary Kay. My baby girl is due on the 11th of September, this is my third and I have two little boys at home. And I am going to have a water birth at a birth center.

Sunny Gault : Alright, thanks ladies.

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segments: Ask The Experts “How big is my baby?”]

Sunny Gault : Alright, before we get started with today’s show we do have an email from one of our listeners. This is actually for one of our experts we will go ahead and read the email and one of our experts will answer it. This is from Amanda and she says “I love your show so much. It has been such an encouragement to me throughout my pregnancy. Thank you for making it a free podcast. My question is about baby’s size and weight estimates. I have heard that they can be really off and especially since I am of your part of descent but living in Asia, I am worried that my doctor’s certain expectations or assumptions that could be unfounded in addition to the comment in accuracy as to how big the baby will be at birth. I really want an unmedicated hospital birth but it sounds like my doctor may want to induce before the due date simply because the baby is big and the head is big even though there has been no complications what so ever this far. I am at 35 weeks, is that enough of a reason for me to consent or could I safely wait for nature to take its course. My next appointment is at 37 weeks, please advise. Thank you, Amanda.” Amanda I have sent this over to Dr. Nick Capetanakis, he is the OB/GYN who is part of our “ask the experts team?” and here is, what he has to say?

Dr. Nick Capetanakis : Hi Amanda, this is Dr. Nick Capetanakis. I just wanna call you and thank you for the great question. We are very inaccurate at guessing fetal size. We think ultrasound should be more accurate than it is. But, unfortunately it is not very accurate as researches are shown that the best guess of the fetal size is mom. Because mom has had a prior baby and she thinks that this new baby is bigger than the old baby, well she is probably the best guess. Next would be the practitioner’s hands whether that’s your doctor or midwife she is probably the second best of guessing your size. And then the third is ultrasound, so ultrasound unfortunately is pretty inaccurate at guessing fetal size. And although you might think the baby’s size you are really not good, you are really not good guessing at how big the mom’s pelvis is, so even though you might think you have a big baby you don’t know if that baby is gonna necessarily fit until the mom goes into labor and then show signs that may be the baby doesn’t fit, so in my practice I don’t use ultrasounds to determine fetal size. I don’t intervene for big babies because big babies can’t sit. Recently, I just delivered a 12 pound baby vaginally unmedicated so babies can’t fit, if your practitioners are talking about fetal size just have the conversation with the practitioners so, that you are aware the fact that now it is increasingly inaccurate and you never know what baby is gonna fit until you go onto labor and see what happens? Hopefully that answers your question, good luck, I think you are gonna have a great delivery. And let us know if have anything else, thanks, bye, bye.


Sunny Gault : Amanda, thanks again for that question and if you are listening to this episode and you have a pregnancy related question you can ask our experts as well. You can do so in of the two ways, you can send us an email through our website and the other way is to call our Preggie Pals hotline which is 619-866-4775. All you have to do is leave us a message and we will send that message over to our experts who will answer it in an upcoming episode.

[Theme Music]

Sunny Gault : Today we are exploring which is the common over-the-medications you should and you shouldn’t take during pregnancy. And our expert here in studio is Sara Qaderi, she is a Pharmacist at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and she also happens to be pregnant, so she is one of us. Sara, welcome to the show. Okay so, let’s talk a little bit about what determines whether or not these medications are safe or unsafe. I mean, is there some sort of organization? Is it the FDA? Who approves this stuff?

Sara Qaderi : So, mainly FDA looks at medications and assigns them a category and there is a, they go by A, B, C, D and then X.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Sara Qaderi : With A, B in the safest and X in absolute no, no. But, some because of the fact that there is so little research they can’t actually go and collect the bunch of pregnant ladies and to a clinical trial to see how this baby is gonna get affected by a certain medication that’s taken. So, most of the research is either because women during pregnancy took this medication and this is what happened. And then looking at it they put two and two together and then decided, okay this is not good to take during pregnancy whether it causes birth defects or miscarriage or still births it could be a number of reasons. Another way to look at it is drug companies when they develop medication just because of how it works chemically or because of certain side effects that it may cause they can say “Okay, this medication shouldn’t be taken by pregnant mommies or not.” So, that’s another one. And then sometimes we also look at the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee. Its subtitled AUS, sometimes they do that, they seemed to be a little more lenient in terms of “what’s okay or what’s not” so, I would probably stick into the FDA classification of medications.

Sunny Gault : Alright, alright okay. And without going into too much detail, what typically has to be done I mean it’s thorough research and testing that has to be done in order for the FDA to kind of give their recommendation, right? Do you know anything about the process that typically happens with that?

Sara Qaderi : For any medication to get FDA approved they have to go through clinical trial, do thorough research, they start with just looking at the medications and they test it on animals. Once that passes and they can test it on humans, healthy individuals and then once that is cleared by the FDA then they can actually test it on people who is intended for certain disease, states and what not. It’s a long process, it takes them many, many years to come out with that; however they can’t do that with pregnant women.

Sunny Gault : Alright, do they ever test on pregnant animals?

Sara Qaderi : They do test on pregnant animals. They usually test on animals that are genetically closest to humans however they are still not human just because the drug is safe in animals it doesn't mean it’s gonna be safe in humans or vice versa.

Sunny Gault : Okay, can any drug be considered a 100% safe in pregnancy?

Sara Qaderi : Yes and No. So, some medications for example Tylenol is very safe in pregnancy. Pregnant women take it all the time. It’s an old drug, it’s been around a very long time and we know that it doesn’t cause any fetal harm.

Sunny Gault : And we know we have so many women who have used it and it’s okay.

Sara Qaderi : Yes, yeah and nothing has been reported, you know, no adverse effects on the fetus has been reported. However, Tylenol taken too much can be bad just because if the mom is not aware of how much Tylenol they can take it has side effects. It damages the liver, has other side effects and it does cross the placenta.


Sunny Gault : Okay.

Sara Qaderi : So, you have to take it in moderation.

Sunny Gault : In moderation, does that mean just following the instructions on the container?

Sara Qaderi : ….on the bottle, yeah and it tells you what is the max is to take and you should just go with that.

Sunny Gault : Alright, and that goes for really anything, right?

Sara Qaderi : Yeah, anything.

Sunny Gault : Okay, and then as far as the drugs are concerned are certain drugs safe for certain trimesters or should we be more concerned, may be in your first trimester you should really try to lay off this stuff because so much the brain is developing. Is that true should you be more careful in certain trimesters?

Sara Qaderi : Well, certain drugs are safer in certain trimesters versus others but that’s something specific to each medication. For example, when you take a leave or Advil over the counter, those are a little better in first and second trimester versus third trimester. But, as a Pharmacist I usually tell my pregnant patients to completely stay away from it altogether because it is a category “C” in first and second trimester which means it may be okay, it may not be. They just don’t have the research, they put it in category “C” and then the third trimester it’s a category “D” so an absolute “No, No.”

Sunny Gault : Okay, now you mentioned this book, who has this book? And how do we get our hands on this book?

Sara Qaderi : You can always go to the FDA website and they will have that or there is books that are here towards may be non-pharmacist or non-health care moms that could look at or and then they have these other books that are, you know, from the professional to look at.

Sunny Gault : Okay, okay so, for our women here in the studio, how do you guys typically treat medications during pregnancy? And you know, some people just wanna avoid them altogether because you just don’t know, do you read the box, do you talk to your OB?

Kate Gittins : I have a friend that’s a labor and delivery nurse and I call her for everything and she tells me, she tells me that I can always take Tylenol. Like if you have a headache, like I was having headaches in my second trimester pretty bad just consistently and so I was just nervous. I didn’t wanna constantly be taking Tylenol so, she said “It’s okay, once a day, it wouldn’t be an everyday headache but so, Tylenol is fine.” So, that’s all I have taken in my whole pregnancy if I needed anything.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Misty Davies : Yeah, I was in the hospital for a couple of days and I took Tylenol, just Tylenol I wouldn’t take anything else.

Sunny Gault : Yeah and what about you Rabeka?

Rabeka Harrison : I do Homeopathic.

Sunny Gault : Oh! Nice.

Rabeka Harrison : Because I am paranoid, I never know and I don’t like over-the-counter, I don’t like how it makes my body feel.

Sunny Gault : Alright.

Rabeka Harrison : So, and always I seem to be very lethargic and dried up and, sorry, I am actually getting into allergies and cold right now. Yeah, sorry I just turned to the Homeopathic stuff so,

Sunny Gault : Okay and Jackie, I know. Yeah, you were probably jumping with the baby on the Doula training.

Jackie Kleber : Yeah, Zofran can definitely be your best friend.

Sunny Gault : What is Zofran?

Jackie Kleber : Zofran is anti-technology medication, it really helps with morning sickness. In fact, when being a surrogate you get all of your medications, what I say medications I mean all your hormones and the injections you have to take for that, you get to shift to your house. And depending upon which doctor you have some doctors just go ahead and put in that Zofran in with all your medications so that right after the transfer, you know, whenever you start to get sick, then you start popping those pills.

Sunny Gault : Oh! Wow.

Rabeka Harrison : Yeah.

Sunny Gault : And that seemed to help you with the nausea, it was not a big concern for you usually in pregnancy?

Rabeka Harrison : With my son I had nothing, absolutely nothing. And then with this one, the first indication that it was a girl, I was like “Oh! I am sick.”

Sunny Gault : Really.

Rabeka Harrison : Yeah.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Rabeka Harrison : Yeah, so and then actually you know, the whole surrogacy thing is different because you are, you know, even though you are injecting hormones into your body they, you know, you are injecting something into yourself.

Sunny Gault : Sure.

Rabeka Harrison : So, that’s in the sense that’s the medication that you are taking and then a lot of doctors like to give you one pill of, I can’t remember what it is called? But it relaxes your body for the day of the transfer which is supposed to be taken 30 minutes before hand somewhere….

Sunny Gault : When you say transfer, what is it?

Rabeka Harrison : I am sorry, the IVF.

Sunny Gault : Okay, got it, got it.

Rabeka Harrison : That’s so to speak…

Sunny Gault : Okay, I think it was, I just wanted to break it down for all our listeners including myself.

Rabeka Harrison : Yeah, somewhere we notice that there is a difference that it does makes the body totally relaxed and  I didn’t notice the difference at all.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Rabeka Harrison : Not at all.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Rabeka Harrison : So, yeah but I have definitely taken Zofran but as far as being a surrogate comes into play, you know, you have a contract that you sign and it’s a little document. You have to abide by those rules but basically you have to go through your doctor for anything and everything that you wanna take, you go through your doctor.

Sunny Gault : Even for over the counter stuff?

Rabeka Harrison : I don’t know specifically I mean I have definitely taken Tylenol especially these last 24 hours because I had it yesterday so,

Sunny Gault : Alright.

Rabeka Harrison : But basically like it’s really limited as far as, you know, what you are allowed to take, I think the surrogates are more, they hold back more because, you know, it’s not your baby,


Sunny Gault : Yeah.

Rabeka Harrison : So, you are even more like,

Sunny Gault : Alright.

Rabeka Harrison : On the err of caution so,

Sara Qaderi : So, what we need to remember about Zofran is that it’s a prescription medication although it works great for Nausea, you still have to get a prescription from your doctor.

Sunny Gault : What about Sara, what about things that are labeled like all herbal or natural or something like that? Are they always safe to take?

Sara Qaderi : Herbal or all natural medications actually don’t even go through any FDA testing at all. So, we don’t even know what’s in there, the purity of it, how much is in there or how little is in there? I would probably try not to go too wild on the herbal side just because those aren’t even tested. The other over-the-counter real medications have gone through FDA testing, this one, these herbal medication have not at all for example, some of the herbal stuffs that they make like Ephedrine can cause high blood pressure, increased heart rate and that could be detrimental to mommy who is already at risk for high blood pressure or sometimes they can constrict to your blood vessels which can also diminish oxygenation to the fetus. Because we don’t really know how they’re exactly it’s gonna affect your body, I would just avoid on if possible.

Sunny Gault : Okay, so let’s go ahead and go through this list here. I know, we all had different things than our medicine cabinets but I think a lot of these could be the same. So, what I wanna do is kind of break this down according to categories so, let’s start with allergy. We usually have something, you know, in our medicine cabinet, you know, for those itchy watery eyes. So, Sara what can and should we be taking if we have to and what shouldn’t we probably not take when it comes to allergy medication?

Sara Qaderi : For the allergy medications they are all pretty much safe and you have your history which your Benadryl, the Claritin, it’s category “B”, it’s okay to take as long as again you are not taking too much and following the instructions on the box. Just remember if you are taking Benadryl for allergies you might get sleepy on it, it will make you drowsy so,

Sunny Gault : Alright.

Sara Qaderi : So, know that how it affects your body before you get behind the wheel again.

Sunny Gault : Alright, and even you said category “B” and even then I am thinking “Oh! It’s not A, I don’t know if I should take, it’s B” But you are saying that it is “Okay” to take category “B.”

Sara Qaderi : There is a, you probably not gonna find anything in category “A”

Sunny Gault : So, it’s there but,

Sara Qaderi : Category “A” is saying that it’s absolutely safe in pregnancy, it’s been tested on animals or human babies.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Sara Qaderi : You know, that’s a very rare one, you are not gonna find too many things, Category “B” should be okay.

Sunny Gault : Okay. But still it should be okay because it kind of makes me nervous but I can remember so many times both my pregnancies having a headache or something being like “I know, I probably can take Tylenol but maybe I should eat something instead.”

Sara Qaderi : You hold back.

Sunny Gault : You do.

Sara Qaderi : You definitely, clear on that breaking place, “Okay, definitely I do, I just seem to take Tylenol and just go ahead with that.” Yeah, you definitely hold back.

Sunny Gault : And I think I held back a lot more like earlier in my first trimester just I knew all the organs and everything were forming and then I don’t know, I was just tired by the time it was third trimester all the while it was like “Okay, you know, I am tired, I am taking that Tylenol” Okay, so cold and flu, what are some of the things we know we can’t take?

Sara Qaderi : Well, you can do the cough drops like Halls or the Vicks or Robetussin or probably hold off, it’s category C which means there is no data, we don’t know how it’s gonna affect?

Sunny Gault : There are bunch of different types of Robetussin too.

Sara Qaderi : Right.

Sunny Gault : Does that matter what kind of Robetussin we take?

Sara Qaderi : Well, I think this Robetussin in question here, the main ingredients would be Qui Phoenician, if you pick up any box look on the active ingredients, it tells you what’s in there. Sometimes it’s not very clear, you turn the box around and then it tells you what the real medications in there. So, if it has Qui Phoenician in there which is for the cough, then that would be the medications to, you know, not to take too much unless you absolutely have to. I mean the, I myself being in my second pregnancy, I just avoided everything even for headaches I tried just to take a nap obviously. It was so harder this time around because of the two and a half year old but I tried to avoid it unless I have to.

Sunny Gault : Okay, okay I know Vicks is really common too, is that something we can take Vicks, cough syrups?

Sara Qaderi : Those should be fine, they just have numbing agent for your throat unless you are Diabetic then you wanna get one that’s sugar free.

Sunny Gault : What about like Nyquil because I know that has some sort of alcohol?

Sara Qaderi : It does, 100%.

Sunny Gault : So, is that bad?


Sara Qaderi : Well, they are not telling you to absolutely not take alcohol during pregnancy. There is I think one glass a day is okay. So, you kind of have to look and see if you are having a glass of wine with dinner then you should probably avoid it. How much of it are you taking and again my recommendation would be to avoid all alcohol during pregnancy.

Sunny Gault : So, then that would probably be avoiding Nyquil?

Sara Qaderi : Yeah, if you could, yes.

Sunny Gault : Have you guys had a, I know you said, Rabeka you are getting over a little bit of a cold, flu type things so, then you told me you are Homeopathic, right?

Rabeka Harrison : Yeah.

Sunny Gault : So, you don’t have to worry about any of that stuff?

Rabeka Harrison : Well, I went to the homeopathic because I was just so paranoid and I just kept thinking “Okay, I really need to take something, I need to take something because it can get worse and worse and worse” And then I was like. “alright, we will go this way, we will see if that works” and surprisingly it did just like “Alright, we are good” because everything dehydrates me. So, that is how my body works unfortunately so,

Sunny Gault : So, I mean being in the, you know, we are in the summer right now so, I don’t know I mean obviously colds can happen in the summer because just during summer, does it mean you are not gonna get sick with the cold or something. But Sudafed, what do you think about Sudafed, they spend a lot of stuff in the news about Sudafed?

Sara Qaderi : There has been the most biggest thing on the news about Sudafed is that people buy it in large quantities and turn it into meth.

Sunny Gault : Alright, we can take meth when you are pregnant? There is a disclaimer here we can’t take meth.

Sara Qaderi : Right, legally there is a limit of how much of Sudafed you can buy over-the-counter, you actually have to go talk to the pharmacists.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Sara Qaderi : And they keep track of how much Sudafed each person is taking. It’s category B as far as concerned for pregnancy but then again there is not enough research just like everything else. I know that the medication called Effadrin which is similar to Sudafed, it causes your blood vessels to constrict which may cause high blood pressure also less blood flow to the uterus and low oxygenation for the baby. And then also I read some studies that Sudafed could potentially cause small babies, small birth weight children so, if you are having 10 pound baby that’s probably not an issue but I had a 5 pounder so, I am gonna try it.

Sunny Gault : Oh! Wow.

Sara Qaderi : Get on as big as I could.

Sunny Gault : Okay, yeah exactly.

Sara Qaderi : Again, tried to avoid it possibly and just always remember that you should always check with your doctor before you take anything.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Rabeka Harrison : What about other decongestants because I know when I was pregnant with my son, my sinus were so clogged that it was making my teeth hurt. Literally, I went to the dentists and they did X-rays and they were like “well, look at, see all these cobwebs up here” and I was like “Yeah.” “Well, that’s supposed to be all black because that’s your sinus” and I was like “Oh! Yeah” So, I had a lot of sinus pressure and it was making my teeth hurt so bad, I wasn’t like sick or had allergies or anything, I was just clogged.

Sara Qaderi : So, that may be something topical would be better like the Saline spray that helps clear it out and then I have really bad allergies. What I do is, I use the Nasal breather prescription so, you have to get a prescription from your doctor, again they are not a 100% and haven’t been tested ever because topical it doesn’t get absorbed into the blood stream enough to affect the fetus. I would be more comfortable using the Nasal spray for example, they have Nasal X and you can see commercials for it on TV all the time and you can get prescription, that’s what I use.

Sunny Gault : Would Benadryl help with anything like that?

Sara Qaderi : Benadryl, can help absolutely but Benadryl is almost a miracle drug but a side effect that Benadryl does have is, it can cause constipation as well aside from the drowsiness part. So, while you are pregnant constipation can be an issue and then you add another medication to it that could worsen your symptom so, just be mindful of that.

Sunny Gault : When I was in the hospital with my second I had to have a C section and I remember, I think they gave me Benadryl for the itchiness that I was feeling after having been on the medication, you know, in the labor delivery process. I was just itching like crazy after the C section and I did it for about 24 hours after so, they kept giving me Benadryl. And then they had to give me something for constipation so, I felt like I was taking all these, you know, all these different medicines because you take one “Oh! Then if you are gonna do this then it’s gonna lead to this and you got to do that.” Constipation is actually the next item in our list so, let’s talk a little bit about that. What are some of the things that we think are okay to take for constipation?


Sara Qaderi : For constipation just about everything that’s over-the-counters, okay. I usually recommend the Dulcalax or the colic that’s category A, you guys asked me about it earlier. That’s the one thing that I know for sure it’s category,

Sunny Gault : Really, it’s safe to poop?

Sara Qaderi : Yes, but the trick is to take with lots of fluids because the way it works is it draws water in intestines to, you know, make your bowels not so hard. If you not drinking enough water it’s not gonna work. There is one thing to mention on that is over-the-counter you can also get some things Dulcalax, you have to look at the active ingredients and it’s called Bisecoto that medication works by causing your intestines to contract. Your intestines have smooth muscles in them and so does your uterus. Although it hasn’t been clinically proven I would be concerned that it might cause uterine contractions especially if you are already having premature contractions. And so, do all the other stuffs before you go to Bisecoto and talk to your doctor before you take it.

Jackie Kleber : Okay, what about Benefiber?

Sara Qaderi : Benefiber is okay, again you have to take a lot of fluids to take for it to work.

Sunny Gault : I know one thing that I took as well, I took Milk of Magnesia after my first son was born because I was on some pain meds because I tore pretty bad, I was on pain meds and then I had to take that and that stuff will empty you out, until you want. Be careful with your milk of Magnesia, that’s what I have to say, it works, it works a little too well depending on how much you take on it.

Sara Qaderi : Better you are close to a restroom, if you are taking it.

Sunny Gault : Yeah, exactly what about first aid ointments? Is there anything that we need to know about that we cut ourselves, Neosporin and that type of stuff?

Sara Qaderi : They are fine, any creams or topical is okay in pregnancy, I would take the same precautions I would for any person that’s not even pregnant as long as you do that, it should be fine.

Sunny Gault : Okay, how about like, I fell and injured my arm and I was, it was just muscle pain and like what about, what’s this stuff called Bengay or...?

Rabeka Harrison : Biophries?

Sunny Gault : Biophries? I have had Biophries.

Sara Qaderi : It should be okay. It’s topical and it’s not supposed to be absorbed through the skin enough to go through your blood stream and then we don’t even know if it crosses the plecenta.

Rabeka Harrison : Okay, good to know.

Sunny Gault : Okay, well when we come back we are gonna wrap up our list of medications and we also gonna tell you more about medications you should probably try to avoid. We will be right back.

[Theme Music]

Sunny Gault : Welcome back, we are continuing our conversation with Sara Qaderi. She is a Pharmacist at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and we are talking about pregnancy medications meaning what medications that are typically in your medicine cabinet can you take and what should you probably avoid? So, continuing down our list here Sara, what about if you have a headache that seems to happen quite a bit during pregnancy?

Sara Qaderi : Tylenol.

Sunny Gault : Yeah, Tylenol is good too.

Sara Qaderi : Yeah.

Sunny Gault :What about Excedrine, what’s wrong with the headache medicine?

Sara Qaderi :So, Excerdrine also has Aspirin in it and caffeine.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Sara Qaderi : So, Aspirins are absolute no, no. Like I mentioned before you should always look at the active ingredients. Ecsadrone has Tylenol and it works really good for headaches and I have taken it in the past but it has Aspirin, you don’t have to take that during pregnancy. And you certainly don’t wanna expose your children, their age limit, they have to be older to take it because they can cause the right syndrome and also it has caffeine in it. So, we are limited to as pregnant mommies to how much caffeine we can take.

Sunny Gault : My go to drug for pretty much everything when I am not pregnant is Ibuprofen, it just works really well with my body so, everything from cramps to muscle aches and anything headaches, I just take Ibuprofen. What is the problem with taking Ibuprofen during pregnancy?

Sara Qaderi : So, Ibuprofen is a medication that you should definitely not touch, it’s the category C in first and second trimesters and then category D in the third trimester. Should I explain why?

Sunny Gault : Yeah, go ahead tell us why, we started to talk about that a little bit earlier but in this case I was saying originally, that first trimester I usually try to not take stuff but you are saying that some medications in the third trimester you really shouldn’t take?

Sara Qaderi : Alright, with the Ibuprofen which also, it’s an Advil over-the-counter and also a leaf which is in a similar medication has an Naproxin in it. Those medication in the third trimester sometimes what they do is, they cause the, the baby inside the mom’s womb has a hole in their heart so the blood gets shanked back and forth. And they get their oxygen from their mom through the umbilical cord, they are not getting it through breathing. Once they come out and take that first breath that hole closes. And then that’s how they are able to get oxygen from inside through their lungs. You don’t want that to happen while the baby is inside the womb, you want it to open while the baby is inside the mom. And then also some, I read some studies that it can also cause prolonged labor in the late pregnancy when you take it, it kind of prevents the uterine contractions, actually moms who go into early labor they give them a medication similar to Ibuprofen to stop the contraction.


Sunny Gault : Alright, so let’s move on, let’s talk about heart burns, what are some of the over-the-counter medications that we, that we can take for heart burns because a lot of women have it?

Sara Qaderi : You can take Mylox, Mylanta, Tums all safe. All okay to take, there is also other medication like we have the Pepcid or the Phomordudene, that medication although it’s okay to take in pregnancy I would check with my doctor before I jump in and take that medication. And then they have some other ones like Prevacid and the Omeprazole you know, the purple pill those medications I would definitely check with my doctor before taking even though they are over-the-counter, you shouldn’t just go ahead and take it because if your heart burn is not being relieved by the usual Mylox or Mylanta, tums, then they should check it out and see may be there is a different cause for it.

Sunny Gault : Okay, what about, what’s that pink stuff heart burn nausea? [Laughs]

Sara Qaderi : That one has Bevismis Subsoleslate in it and that could be a form of Aspirin. So, shouldn’t, I mean it’s probably best not to take it.

Sunny Gault : Yeah, Hemorrhoids that’s always our favorite, I am getting thumbs up here from my fans, Oh! That’s true, something you have experienced Rabeka, over there?

Rabeka Harrison : No, thanks. Yeah, [Laughs] when you are pregnant you know, you don’t have privacy anyway at any point.

Sunny Gault : So, preparation H, we hear that all the time. Is that something safe Sara that we can use?

Sara Qaderi : It should be safe.

Sunny Gault : Okay, okay and then Tucks and then Witch-hazel, I think that’s something they give you in the hospital, that’s something that I have?

Sara Qaderi : Alright, alright.

Sunny Gault : What is Witch-hazel?

Sara Qaderi : Witch-hazel is just an astringent that cleans and dries the little bit the area.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Sara Qaderi : It doesn’t have really true medication in it.

Sunny Gault : Okay, but those should be fine and all those stuffs is topical so, it’s one of the reasons it’s okay.

Sara Qaderia : Yeah.

Sunny Gault : And we talked a little bit about Nausea and vomiting earlier, Amatrole, there is another one on this list which is the Vitamin B6, is that pretty good?

Sara Qaderi : Vitamin B6 is not tested. Some women who buy it, they say that it helps them. If it helps them great, if not then they don’t have to take it and then the Amatrole or the Amatrax, they are just sugar formulations.

Sunny Gault : Yeah.

Sara Qaderi : So, the only thing to watch out is if again you have Diabetes because some mommies do have Diabetes during pregnancy so, just make sure you get the sugar free kind.

Sunny Gault : Okay, and then for rashes we are talking about you know topical stuffs like again I am assuming it’s okay, like we talked about Benadryl little bit. Caladryl, is that how you pronounce it?

Sara Qaderi : Caladryl, lotion, cream.

Sunny Gault : Hydro Cortisone, Oh! That’s okay.

Sara Qaderi ; So, Benadryl is okay, Hydro Cortisone yeah, another category A because it gets inactivated in the placenta, it’s topical we are not expecting it to get absorbed as much but if it does it gets inactivated by the placenta. So, its fine, the Caladryl is a little bit iffy again because there is not enough research and what it has in there is called Promoxitene and it’s like a pain medication. So, I would probably not use that.

Sunny Gault : Okay and then another one, yeast infection may be, you know, something that we may have to do with in our pregnancy so, the common ones Monestat, Teresol?

Sara Qaderi : Those were again classified as category C which means we have no clue so, either way is fine. Yeast infection should always be checked out by your doctor and if you are having a yeast infection close to labor or sometimes the yeast in your vagina can get transferred to the baby’s mouth and what they get is thrush. So, you wanna make sure it gets treated properly and sometimes yeast infection symptoms could mimic something else so, the doctor should always take a look. It’s really easy to diagnose by a doctor so, have them take a look at it and make sure you do have a yeast infection and not something else.

Sunny Gault : Okay.

Misty Davies : I was also like always told to treat a yeast infection with just a cup of plain yoghurt every day.

Sara Qaderi : Yeah, always include yogurt in your diet and then I have also heard women that they actually use it topically for the yeast infection, just put clean yogurt no fruits. [Laughs] The sugar actually encourages the growth of yeast so; you wanna just have plain yogurt.

Sunny Gault : Nice clarification, are there additional resources out there that you would recommend because we have talked about a lot today and inevitably despite about people in the show, they are gonna, you know, want from you something “Oh! Was that on the list, I can’t remember.” So, are there specific resources that you would recommend pregnant women consult with, if of course talk to your doctor that’s something you can always do but, if it’s 3’o clock in the morning and they you know, have headache or whatever, what would you recommend?


Sara Qaderi : Alright, I checked out some of these websites that were listed and they seem to be pretty good. One is  the organization for teratology information specialists, the pregnancy registry by the FDA and then there is the CDC Birth effect and prevention study. And then the FDA med watch but then also I usually look on baby center, they seem to be a really good website, they have some reliable information and you can get your answers that way.

Sunny Gault : Okay so, what we’ll do is, we’ll include links to all of these, are these things that we talked about as far as the organization we will include that on the episode’s page of our website. So, if you guys have more questions specifically about what’s in your medicine cabinet, you can go straight to those resources as well. Well, Sara thank you so much for joining us today in our show and educating us about the different types of medications out there. For links to this resources again visit our website on our episode’s page.

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segments: Preparing to Breastfeed “Find a breastfeeding support group!”]

Sunny Gault : Before we wrap today’s show here are some great tips to help you prepare for breastfeeding.

Robin Kaplan : Hi, Preggie Pals listeners, I am Robin Kaplan, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, owner of the San Diego Breastfeeding Center and the host and producer of Preggie Pals sister show, the Boob Group. I am here to offer some advice on what you can do during pregnancy to prepare for a positive breastfeeding experience such as locate a local, welcoming breastfeeding support group. Yes, we all know that breastfeeding is natural and normal yet, many of us first time moms never really been around a breastfeeding mother, plus many of the children we see breastfeeding in public may be covered up with a blanket. So, we often don’t even know what breastfeeding actually looks like. A few years ago, after I set up my breastfeeding support group I overheard a group of new moms talking about how they wish they had gone to a breastfeeding support group while they were still pregnant. This shocked me a little as I wasn’t sure why they thought this would have been helpful. As I listened to their reasons it began to make complete sense. And now I recommend it to all of the first time moms that I meet and this is what they said, first of all these moms mentioned that after they had their babies, they were little bit anxious to go somewhere they had never been before. They didn’t know where they would park their car? They didn’t know where to park their strollers? And visiting the support group while they were pregnant, they felt they would be able to figure out all of these details as well as taken in the vibe of the group to see it was somewhere they felt they would belong. Once seeing new moms at the group of babies under 2 weeks old they thought it would help them to come sooner after their babies were born. They thought they have been also less intimated. Secondly, they would like to see what a breastfeeding woman really looks like without the cover, how did she sit? How did she latch her baby? Did she use a breastfeeding pillow? Did she wear one of those nursing things? All these sort of things they could just gauge just by checking around the room and they thought that would have been incredibly helpful. Lastly, they would have liked the opportunity to ask these new moms questions about what life was like with a new born? Many of the women who attended my support group were not from San Diego so, they didn’t have a ton of friends or family around who had young children. The support group became their village where they could seek advice from new friends. Pregnant moms have opportunity at the support group to interact with new moms, ask questions about local resources and then just a general sense what life will look like after they had babies. Seeing breastfeeding especially those who have overcome the challenges can be just enough inspiration for a new mom to perceiver to meet their breastfeeding goals especially if you make a connection with another mom who could encourage you during any of these challenges that you may have. It’s definitely worth the hour during your maternity leave while you are pregnant to visit a local breastfeeding support group. So, I highly recommend finding one that you really enjoy, for more, great information about what you can do during pregnancy to prepare for a positive breastfeeding experience check out my blog at http://www.sandiegobreastfeedingcenter.com/blog and be sure to listen to the Preggie Pals and the Boob group for fantastic conversations about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.

Sunny Gault : Alright, so that wraps up our show for today. If you have any questions regarding today’s topic or any pregnancy related questions you can ask our experts. All you have to do is send us an email or call our Preggie Pals hotline at 619-866-4775 and we will answer your question on an upcoming episode. If you have a pregnancy topic you would like us to know about, we would  love to hear it, you can visit our website at http://www.preggiepals.com and send us an email. Thanks for listening to Preggie Pals, your pregnancy your way.


This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. For such in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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