Our midwives usually recommend taking a prenatal vitamin daily starting 3 months before conception all the way through until your baby weans from breastfeeding.
Alway ask your midwife about whether your over-the-counter medicine can be used while pregnant or breastfeeding. Don’t take more than directed on the bottle. Never take a prescription medicine unless directed by the midwife / medical provider who knows you’re pregnant.
The information on this page is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and is no substitute for personal medical attention from a midwife or other medical provider.
Common medicines that are usually considered low-risk in pregnancy
- Allergies – Benadryl or loratadine (Claritin), saline nasal rinse (NetiPot)
- Cough and phlegm – warm salt-water gargle, guaifenesin (expectorant), dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
- Fever – acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- First aid – triple antibiotic cream
- Herbs – red raspberry, spearmint, chamomile, lemon balm, nettles, rose hips, echinacea, cooking herbs & spices
- Infection – echinacea tincture 2 droppersful 4-5 times daily, ginger, garlic
- Nasal congestion – saline nasal rinse (NetiPot), breathing steam
- Pain – bromelain (enzyme from extract of pineapple plant, turmeric capsules, ginger, acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Prebiotics and probiotics – oral or vaginal
- Vitamins – prenatal vitamins, folate, B vitamins, vitamin D up to 5,000 IUs daily, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, omega-3 (fish oil / DHA)
- Yeast infection – 7-day vaginal creams: miconazole / clotrimazole
Common medicines that cause harm to the fetus – Avoid in pregnancy
- Caffeine – except in 1 cup of coffee or 2 cups of caffeinated tea per day
- Herbs – yarrow, goldenseal, kava, hops, licorice, comfrey, blue cohosh, feverfew, uva ursi, coltsfoot, ephedra, andrographis, pau darco
- Oral yeast infection pill – Fluconazole
- Mineral oil
- Nicotine gum or patches
- Pain medicines – Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), Naproxen (Aleve)
- Vitamin A supplement – only take the dose in your prenatal vitamin, not more
Other Medicines & Supplements
Use the following resources or ask your midwife:
- Best Start Birth Center’s Birth Passport booklet (you’ll receive this at your first visit) contains medications and home remedies for Common Discomforts of Pregnancy.
- MotherToBaby.org: Search any substance or live chat with a professional.
- www.E-Lactancia.org: Search the safety of medicines and other toxins during breastfeeding.