Enhance Your Health

Health Tip of the Week: Acetaminophen and Pregnancy

Acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) is one of the most widely used pain relievers in the United States, including among pregnant women. Research published in the journal American Family Physician even called acetaminophen "the pain reliever of choice during pregnancy," and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data suggest 65 percent of pregnant women use the drug. Acetaminophen was most commonly used to treat pain, fever and flu symptoms among pregnant women as shown by a recent study led by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo.

As we all know, it's best to avoid any medications during pregnancy, including acetaminophen, unless they're absolutely necessary. Drugs are filtered through the expectant mother’s blood stream and passed to the developing fetus. Drugs absorbed by the fetus can cause health problems to the unborn child. When used during pregnancy, even this "safe" over-the-counter (OTC) drug, researchers found, may be associated with an increased risk of asthma in children. Children whose mothers had used acetaminophen during pregnancy were 13 percent more likely to develop asthma by age 3.

The more acetaminophen used by the mother, the greater the risk became. Women who reported using acetaminophen for more than one reason during pregnancy had children with the greatest risk of asthma at age 3. The only reason that a pregnant women could even rationalize taking acetaminophen is due to pain. The most typical pain during pregnancy is muscular pain. Pain such as back aches. In addition, another common pain that would cause pregnant women to take acetaminophen is sciatic nerve pain from the lower back and pelvis into the legs.

The bottom line is that chiropractic care is the most natural fit for pregnant women. Chiropractors correct spinal muscle and pelvic imbalances that lead to muscular and sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy. Most importantly, the chiropractors treatment is 100% natural and completely safe for pregnant women. No dangerous drugs are involved.

As pregnancy progresses, the mother’s pelvis begins to change shape and reposition itself for the future delivery of the unborn child. Sometimes, as this happens the pelvis and lumbar spine can shift into the improper alignment which causes instability in the musculature and irritations of spinal nerves. The result is pain. Chiropractors can correct this problem with specific adjustments designed for the pregnant women. In addition, many studies have shown that pregnant women under chiropractic care typically have shorter labor times, less pain and less need for medication.

It makes perfect sense to see the chiropractor when pregnant!! I personally work with many obstetricians in the area and chiropractic is their first choice for their pregnant patients with discomfort. As many of my patients have found through the years, chiropractic care performed preventatively throughout the pregnancy before there is any discomfort, will make everything easier.


« Previous Health Tip | Next Health Tip »