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Between headaches, stomach aches, soreness and cramps – not to mention the crazy flu season -- it's no wonder most pregnant women take medication at the some point during pregnancy.
In fact, a new study from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds most pregnant women – more than 90 percent -- use at least one medication during pregnancy, and around 70 percent use at least one medication that's been prescribed. What's more, the study found at least two dozen web sites listing medicines that are reportedly safe for use during pregnancy, when in fact safety data is not available for about 40 percent of the ingredients in those medications.
"Pregnant women are taking more medicine than ever, but there's still a lot to learn about the safety of those medicines," Cheryl Broussard, of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, says in a release. "Don't use information you find on the internet to bypass a conversation with your doctor. Use this information as a starting point to talk with your doctor and be sure you’re only taking what's necessary."
If you're pregnant, or are planning a pregnancy, the CDC report recommends you:
1. Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking or thinking about taking, including prescription and over-the-counter meds and dietary or herbal supplements.
2. Don't stop or start taking any type of medicine without talking with a health care provider.
3. Check with your health care provider about information you find on the Web to make sure you're taking only necessary medication.
Need more info? The March of Dimes has guidelines for taking medications and prescription drugs while breastfeeding and during pregnancy, and you can also find information at the CDC's Medications and Pregnancy page.