When you are pregnant everything that you take in your baby takes in too. This relates to the food that you eat, the drinks that you consume and of course any medications that you take.
This means that you need to be very careful with the medications you take, even when it seems that they are seemingly harmless medications that you normally wouldn’t worry about at all.
What Is Aspirin?
Aspirin is a common, over the counter western medication that is used to treat fever, inflammation and/ or pain. It is quite the norm for most people to take aspirin to treat colds and flu, as well as many other common illnesses.
Due to the fact that aspirin is such a common medication to take it can be easy to assume that it is perfectly safe to take while pregnant, however it is important to always check any medications that you want to take while you are pregnant with your doctor first.
While taking a few low doses of aspirin during pregnancy may possibly have no negative, taking regular adult doses of aspiring while you are pregnant can causes problems for your baby, as well as for you.
For this reason it is probably best to avoid taking aspirin altogether while pregnant unless prescribed by your doctor. It is also not recommended to take aspirin while breastfeeding.
Taking aspirin during pregnancy can cause the following problems:
- Increase of miscarriage if aspirin is consumed around the time of conception and during early pregnancy.
- You are at higher risk of placental abruption (which is when part of the placenta separates from womb) if you take aspirin throughout your pregnancy.
- Your baby’s growth could be affected by taking aspirin regularly during pregnancy.
- Taking aspirin late in your pregnancy means that there is a chance that your labor could be delayed and it could increase the risk of your baby developing heart and lung problems after birth. Taking aspirin could also cause problems with bleeding complications for your baby and for you.
- A number of studies have shown possible links between birth defects and taking aspirin during early pregnancy, however none of these studies are conclusive – most of your baby’s development takes place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy so it is best to avoid aspirin during this time.
- If you take standard doses of aspirin after 30 weeks pregnant it can result in the ductus arteriosus closing while your baby is still in the womb. The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that needs to stay open to supply the baby in the womb with oxygen and nutrients from the mother. If there is premature closure of the ductus arteriosus then your baby may need to be delivered early.
- Use of NSAID’s (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin) during pregnancy after 30 weeks can cause oligohydramnios which is when there is not enough amniotic fluid around the baby in the sac.
How To Use Aspirin Safely While Pregnant
There is no evidence to suggest that low dose aspirin has any negative effects on mother or baby during pregnancy, as long as both mommy to be and baby are healthy and not taking any other medications that may be affected by aspirin. Low dose aspirin is a total of 75 to 300 milligrams per day.
In fact low dose aspirin is sometimes prescribed in these scenarios when pregnant:
- If you have Hughes Syndrome (antiphospholipid syndrome or APS), which means you are more prone to blood clots developing which in turn can lead to miscarriage. Taking low doses of aspiring along with the medication heparin will help to prevent blood clots from forming and reduce the chances of miscarriage occurring.
- If you have a high chance of developing pre-eclampsia due to having diabetes, having had pre-eclampsia before or if you have high blood pressure.
If you have taken standard dose aspirin (325mg up to 4g per day) after you are 30 weeks pregnant you should inform your doctor immediately so that your doctor can assess your baby’s well being and you may need extra scans as well as monitoring.
Check all the medications you take while you are pregnant, lots of over the counter medications such as Med-Lemon has aspirin listed in its ingredients.
If you are pregnant the best is always to look for natural remedies for colds and flu, or alternatively ask your doctor to recommend medication that is safe for you and your baby.
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Also published on Medium.