Safe Medications During Pregnancy

Relief for stomach acid and yeast infections

Zantac
If you've been taking Zantac to prevent or treat ulcers, you shouldn't have to stop because you're pregnant. Although Zantac, which contains the active ingredient ranitidine, does cross the placenta, there has never been a birth defect or miscarriage directly associated with its use. From the first trimester on, Zantac will still cut stomach acid and reduce ulcers, with no harm to you or your baby. Just don't forget to tell your OB or midwife you're taking Zantac. Your care providers need to know about every medication you're on.

Antibiotics
While antibiotics pose no major risks to you or your baby-to-be, babies whose moms receive certain antibiotics during pregnancy are at higher risk of developing fungal or yeast infections after birth. They're also at risk of dehydration due to drug-induced diarrhea. A healthy, full-term baby will likely fare well despite these risk factors, but stressed or preterm babies may not. But when you need a prescription, you need a prescription, right? The key is knowing when an antibiotic can help and when it can't. Upper respiratory infections, among others, are mostly viral, so they don't respond to antibiotics. Don't hesitate to ask your practitioner if antibiotics are really necessary. And keep in mind that sometimes they will be. Antibiotics are generally given to mothers in labor if they have had a positive culture for group B beta strep during their pregnancy, if they are in preterm labor or if the baby has not been delivered within 18 hours of the rupture of membranes. Maternal fever, fetal heart rate over 160 or bad-smelling amniotic fluid are also reasons to administer antibiotics. In these cases, your baby could be less able to fight infections after birth or resistant to future doses of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Talk to your doctor beforehand about the risks of antibiotic resistance and the option of using penicillin instead of a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Monistat
Monistat's manufacturer recommends waiting until the second or third trimester to use this antifungal medication to treat yeast infections. Because this over-the-counter med is considered benign and is usually only absorbed into the affected area of the body, some midwives and physicians deem it safe to use even in the first trimester of pregnancy. Just to be safe, though, check with your practitioner for advice on your specific condition.

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