Ibuprofen is a popular over-the-counter medication used to treat minor to moderate pain. You probably have a bottle in your medicine cabinet right now. However, can you take ibuprofen while pregnant? This is a question you want to answer before you choose which medications to take when you are pregnant. You want to make sure that the medications that you do take are safe for both you and your growing baby.
What is Ibuprofen?
Ibuprofen is a popular pain medication classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It works to reduce pain by decreasing inflammation, such as that from a minor injury like a sprained ankle or a back ache. It might also be used to reduce a minor fever.
What to Know About Taking Ibuprofen During Pregnancy
While ibuprofen is not recommended at any stage during your pregnancy, it is especially important to avoid it during the first and third trimester. During the first trimester, taking this medication might:
- Increase the risk of you experiencing a miscarriage
- Increase the risk of your baby developing a heart abnormality or defect, or things like a cleft palate or abdominal wall abnormality
You also want to avoid taking this medication during your third trimester due to potential threats to your baby. Taking ibuprofen during the third trimester might:
- Increase the risk of lung-related high blood pressure
- Reduce how much amniotic fluid is available for your baby to float in
- Delay your labor
Researchers are still performing studies to determine if ibuprofen can cause problems during your second trimester. To be safe, it is best to avoid it.
If you are taking acetaminophen for pain and it is not getting the job done, talk to your doctor. Do not try ibuprofen to see if it will work better for you. There are a number of pain relief options that you can try under the supervision of your doctor that are deemed safe during pregnancy. Things like regular gentle exercise, getting plenty of sleep and reducing your stress levels can also help to alleviate your pain.
Medications You Can Take for Pain During Pregnancy
When it comes to pain and fever, most doctors recommend that you use acetaminophen, but use it sparingly. Try other methods that do not involve medication to alleviate pain or a fever first, such as ice. If you do take this medication while pregnant, take it exactly as prescribed or exactly according to the dosage instructions on the label. Never take more than the label dictates.
Can you take ibuprofen while pregnant? You now have the information you need to determine if ibuprofen is a safe medication to take during pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you want to talk to your doctor before you choose to take any medications. This is because even certain common medications have been associated with causing harm to a developing fetus. You also need to be mindful of the various herbs and natural remedies, as these too can be potentially harmful to a fetus.