Pregnancy is a remarkable journey — mentally, emotionally, and physically. And it’s no secret that some of the physical changes to accommodate a developing baby can be uncomfortable or even painful.
It’s important to address any discomfort you experience, but it’s equally important to choose the right treatment method. Many of the most common pain medications aren’t recommended during pregnancy, so it’s easy to wonder where you should turn to find relief.
As prenatal care providers in Conroe, Texas, Farly Sejour, MD, Natalie Gould, WHNP-BC, and our team at Solace Women's Care can offer guidance on safe medications during pregnancy.
While every woman’s health needs are unique, here’s what we generally recommend when it comes to choosing the right pain medication during your pregnancy.
Tylenol: the safest over-the-counter option
Acetaminophen, commonly known by the brand name Tylenol®, is the most recommended over-the-counter pain medication for pregnant women. When used according to the package directions, Tylenol is generally considered safe during pregnancy.
It’s effective for managing mild to moderate pain, like headaches, muscle aches, and fever. However, even with Tylenol, always check with your doctor before taking it, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns.
Over-the-counter pain medications to avoid
Other than Tylenol, most common over-the-counter (OTC) medications aren’t recommended during pregnancy. These include:
Aspirin belongs to a class of medications called salicylates, which experts recommend avoiding during pregnancy.
Regular use of aspirin during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages, can increase your risk of bleeding complications, premature closure of a fetal blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus, and certain developmental abnormalities.
Ibuprofen and naproxen
Ibuprofen and naproxen are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, but they’re generally not recommended during pregnancy — particularly in your third trimester.
Ibuprofen and naproxen can increase your risk of complications, including potential harm to your developing baby's cardiovascular system or kidney function.
Other over-the-counter medications
Apart from aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, you should exercise caution with other over-the-counter pain medications, too.
Many common pain relievers contain NSAIDs or other ingredients that may not be suitable for use during pregnancy. Always read the labels carefully, and ask your doctor for recommendations.
Prescription options for pain management
If you have severe pain or Tylenol isn’t effective enough, talk to our team. We can evaluate your specific situation and discuss alternatives, like prescription pain medications that are safe during pregnancy.
These options may include opioid analgesics or NSAIDs that are specifically approved for use during pregnancy. We generally recommend prescription pain medication for short-term use only and supervise your condition closely while you take the medication.
Drug-free pain management strategies
Along with pain medication, we recommend various non-medication strategies to help manage pain during pregnancy. Some of the most effective methods include:
- Gentle exercise
- Prenatal yoga
- Physical therapy
- Warm or cold compresses
- Proper body posture
- Relaxation techniques
- Adequate rest
Dr. Sejour and our team take the time to listen to your concerns and work with you to develop a comprehensive pain management approach based on your individual circumstances.
We’re here to help ensure your health and safety during pregnancy, so don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns, pain symptoms, or medication queries with us at your next prenatal visit.
Choosing the right pain medication during pregnancy is essential for the well-being of both you and your baby. Get the answers you need with quality prenatal care at Solace Women's Care. Call our office at 936-441-7100 or send us a message online to learn more.