Ask the Pharmacist: Rx Tips for Expectant Mothers

Sep 5, 2017
An Express Scripts specialist pharmacist shares tips for expectant mothers to ensure that you and your baby remain healthy and continue to thrive.

Rph Article 

When a baby is on the way, diapers and strollers may preoccupy your thoughts. Nevertheless, it’s critical to focus on your health – and specifically how to manage prescription and over-the-counter medications during this time in your life.

Here are some tips for expectant mothers to ensure that you and your baby remain healthy and continue to thrive:

Increase folic acid intake

If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or of childbearing age, it is essential that you get enough folic acid; an essential B vitamin which can help to prevent major birth defects. Because many pregnancies are unplanned, the CDC recommends that every woman of childbearing age consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. Folic acid is available from your diet, but due to dietary variations, adding a folic acid supplement (or multivitamin) with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid is recommended. Once pregnant, your physician may increase your folic acid intake to 1000 micrograms and advise that you continue at the same dose if you decide to breastfeed.

Balanced diet and exercise

While you are pregnant or breastfeeding, make sure that you eat a well-balanced diet and exercise as directed by your physician. Regular exercise helps keep you as well as your developing baby physically healthy. To maintain your health, be proactive at preventing illness by remembering to regularly use good handwashing techniques and avoid areas where other may be sick. Although many antibiotics are considered safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, decreasing the need for such medications will eliminate any possible risks associated with them.

Over-the-counter caution

To most people, over-the-counter (OTC) medications are often considered safe and harmless because they do not require a prescription and are available for “self-treatment.” However, it is important to realize that these are still medications and they can have undesirable side-effects or serious complications if not used as directed – especially when pregnant or breastfeeding. Remember to always speak with your physician or pharmacist before taking any OTC medications.

Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most wonderful experiences in a woman’s life, yet these experiences can also be some of the most stressful as well. Be prepared and stay healthy. Express Scripts pharmacists in the Women’s Health Therapeutic Resource Center have the specialized expertise to counsel women who are pregnant or breastfeeding about medication interactions, side effects and the impacts of medications during pregnancy.

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