Taking an over the counter pain killer for a headache, a back ache, or aching muscles is something that most people would not think twice about. Why suffer needlessly, when you can just pop a Tylenol, paracetamol, or ibuprofen? But when you are pregnant incidentally a time when you might feel like using an over the counter pain killer more often taking a pain killer becomes something you think about twice. Is it safe to use over the counter pain killer when you are expecting a baby?
While some doctors have no problem with prescribing over the counter pain medication to women, and some pregnant women do not feel they are unsafe, the truth is that there has been next to no clinical research about the safety of these drugs during pregnancy. Which pharmaceutical company would feel great about doing research on pregnant women? Of course, they are right to be concerned about testing the safety of drugs on pregnant women, but that does leave serious questions about how even medications that are as commonly used as Tylenol could affect a fetus. At the very least, caution is in order when it comes to using over the counter pain killers while you are expecting a baby.
Headaches are annoying, but you don't know what using pain relief medication can do to your baby in the first trimester, when all the internal organs are being formed, or in the second trimester, when the nervous system is developing. Even the third trimester is not safe, because medication could possibly interfere with labor, or the baby's breathing after birth. Do these comments sound somewhat extreme to you? I would agree with you if you think that over the counter pain killers are mainly harmless. But the fact of the matter is that there has been insufficient research, so taking a pain killer while you are pregnant is not unlike making a leap in the dark. And while headaches or colds can certainly be irritating, they are hardly dangerous.