How to safely treat common pregnancy concerns
While pregnancy is not an illness, sometimes it can make minor conditions such as a cough or cold, more complicated. To help you feel more at ease about treating symptoms during your pregnancy, OBGYN Lauren M. Beasley, MD, shared common discomforts you may experience and safe medications to treat them.
- Increase your daily water intake.
- Continue or add exercise to your daily routine.
- You may use Citrucel, Fibercon, Metamucil, Senakot, or Benefiber.
- Use daily stool softener, such as Colace. Milk of Magnesia may be used occasionally if needed.
- Try Miralax three times a day until you have an adequate bowel movement, then decrease to once daily.
- Avoid taking stimulants such as ex-lax, Correctol and mineral oil.
Contractions and cramping
Occasional mild pelvic cramping is common during pregnancy.
- Rest and hydrate.
- Take Tylenol if needed.
- If pains are persistent, occurring multiple times an hour, prior to 37 weeks, call your doctor.
Cough and cold
- Symptoms may be treated with Robitussin, Actifed, Sudafed, Tylenol Cold and Sinus, cough drops, Mucinex, Zyrtec, Zyrtec D, Claritin, cool mist vaporizer, and saline nasal spray.
- Stay well hydrated.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water a day, more with extra activity.
- Use Kaopectate or Imodium AD as directed by your doctor and increase your fluid intake.
Headache and body aches
- Increase your fluid intake.
- Take Tylenol (two regular strength or one extra strength) every four hours.
- Avoid taking Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve and Aspirin unless recommended by your doctor.
Heartburn and indigestion/gas
- Use Maalox-Plus, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums or Gaviscon.
- If these do not work, try Pepcid-AC or Prilosec.
- Use Tucks pads and warm sitz baths, a bath of warm shallow water, along with Preparation H or Anusol.
Nausea and vomiting
- Acupressure bands, Dramamine, Emetrol, ginger capsules, ginger tea, Vitamin B6/Unisom may be used.
- Stay well hydrated with sips of liquids such as sports drinks. Eat popsicles or crushed ice to help as well.
- Call your doctor if symptoms worsen or if you are unable to keep liquids down.
- Use Chloraseptic or throat lozenges.
- This is commonly increased during pregnancy. Call your provider if you experience bleeding, itching or irritation.
- If you have trouble sleeping, try Benadryl, Unisom, Dramamine or Tylenol PM.
Pregnancy can sometimes make you uncomfortable and cause you to experience symptoms you aren’t used to, but talking to your doctor and knowing how to treat those symptoms can help make you feel better.