Health Tips: The importance of saying nay to NSAIDS when pregnant


A lab study out of Sweden indicates our brains are wired to make us contrarians. The researchers found that when it comes to choosing between go and no-go, we’re more inclined to just say “nay.” That’ll come in handy for pregnant women who get a headache or sore muscles and need to pass on taking an NSAID for pain relief. 

The FDA has revised it warnings to pregnant women about taking drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and celecoxib. The watchdog says to limit use of NSAIDs between weeks 20 to 30 and to avoid NSAIDs entirely after 30 weeks. (Low-dose 81mg aspirin isn’t included in this advisory.) 

That’s because NSAIDs are associated with fetal kidney problems that can lead to low levels of amniotic fluid, which can in turn trigger complications such as limb contractures and delayed lung maturation, as well as damage to fetal blood flow. 

What about earlier in pregnancy? A study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found using NSAIDs around conception quadrupled the risk of early miscarriage.

So what should you do for pain during pregnancy? 

-- Exercise: Work with your doc/exercise therapist to create an individualized routine.

-- Adopt relaxation techniques: One study found combining meditation and yoga eases lower back pain more effectively than drugs or surgery.

-- Eat a non-inflammatory diet: no added sugars, syrups, simple carbs or red meat, and get plenty of olive oil. 

-- Use heat and cold packs: Heat increases blood flow to stiff joints and muscles; cold reduces inflammation and swelling.


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