Drugs

Pregnancy can be fraught with worry, and there is nothing that causes more concern than the effects of drug use. The terrible side effects developing babies suffered due to medicines such as Thalidomide, Accutane and diethylstilbestrol (DES) have made many women wary of taking any medication during pregnancy. Fortunately, most medications are safe in pregnancy but their use is a balance of risks and benefits. Clearly, medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, or mental health problems like depression and anxiety, need to be treated in pregnancy. Discuss your medications with your health care provider even before you get pregnant.

Illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, Ecstasy, amphetamines and heroin pose various risks to a developing baby, ranging from: premature birth, low birth weight, withdrawal symptoms, behavioural and learning problems and birth defects. These babies are also at a greater risk of being stillborn or dying from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). These drugs should be avoided at all costs during pregnancy.

Always talk to your health care provider before taking any over the counter medications or naturopathic remedies. Consult MOTHERISK for more information on which drugs are considered safe during pregnancy.