Which medicines can I take safely in pregnancy?
Many medicines – even over-the-counter remedies – are not recommended during pregnancy, although fortunately if you have taken any without knowing you were pregnant, they are unlikely to have had any harmful effect on the fetus. However, you should always check with your doctor if a particular prescription drug can be taken during pregnancy, and check with a pharmacist if you are buying a non-prescription drug. Even if they are technically safe, you may find that some medications (such as indigestion remedies) affect absorption of vitamins and minerals, so it is best not to take them unless strictly necessary.
Are infections a risk in pregnancy?
Many women worry that an infection might affect their pregnancy, but I can reassure you that infections such as the common cold, ‘flu, throat infections, gastroenteritis, and general tummy upsets are not dangerous for your pregnancy or your baby.
However, if you have been exposed to diseases such as chickenpox, rubella (14), or measles and you have not had the disease yourself or have not been immunized this can be a cause for concern and you should consult your GP.
Chickenpox This is a highly contagious virus that is extremely common among young children, but which is unlikely to affect your pregnancy or your baby if you catch it. If you contract chickenpox during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, it is unlikely to cause you to miscarry or to affect the embryo. If you contract it between weeks 8 and 20, there is only a very small risk (1-2 per cent) of it affecting your baby.
Measles One of the most contagious viral diseases, and if contracted during pregnancy measles can lead to miscarriage and to infection of your unborn baby.
In the worst cases, it can result in the death of the baby if infection occurs near delivery date.