Can You Take Pain Medication When You're Pregnant?

Aches, pains, swelling, and cramps all come with the territory of having a baby on board, but can you take pain medication when you're pregnant to ease your discomfort? It's certainly not ideal to go about your day in agony, but making sure you're protecting your baby is cause to think twice before grabbing your usual relief out of the medicine cabinet. But do you need to suffer through when a headache strikes and the throbbing won't ease up? The good news is that you manage your pain with medicine, you just have to be very strict with using the right type.

It would be really fantastic to make it through your pregnancy with no body gripes whatsoever. But the reality is, there's likely going to be a day or two when you need a little extra help kicking your hurting to the curb. According to Parents magazine, pregnant women should avoid ibuprofen and asprin since studies suggest that taking these medications near conception or in early pregnancy may increase your risk of miscarriage and birth defects. But not all pain medication poses a threat, and thankfully you're cleared to take acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol, when you're in pain.

Keep in mind that no matter how rockin' that headache might be, you have to limit your intake of pain medicine while you have a bun in the oven. The maximum daily dose for acetaminophen is 4,000 mg and you should not go over that amount, as the website for The Today Show pointed out. Which means if the pounding persists, you'll want to try incorporating natural ways to ease the pain.

Incorporating more than one method of dealing with discomfort when pregnant may be what you need to get the job done. The website for the American Pregnancy Association suggested trying some non-medicinal ways of managing pain, such as taking a nap, using a cold compress, staying hydrated, and relaxing in a dark room. You may want to try these before using over the counter medication, or in addition to acetaminophen if the max does doesn't do the trick.

You definitely don't have to live with extra pain when pregnant, but approaching how you use medication with knowledge and care protects your baby and prevents unwanted issues.