Your pregnancy medicine cabinet

Our guide to safe pregnancy medicines

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Your pregnancy medicine cabinet

Pregnancy should be a happy time, but unless you’re one of the lucky ones, it’s likely you’ll experience a health niggle or two. ‘Common complaints range from nausea and mouth ulcers, to piles,’ say Prima Baby’s Dr Rob Hicks. With some over-the-counter remedies off-limits in pregnancy, you need to think twice before using your usual creams or pills. ‘It’s important to know what’s safe and what’s not,’ says Dr Rob. ‘Make sure you seek professional advice if you’re unsure about anything.’

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Toast

Queasiness

Nausea affects around 70% of mums-to-be. It’s thought to be caused by hormonal changes and fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

What you can do: Eat and drink little and often. If you feel sick first thing, have toast soon after waking up.

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weleda skin food

Eczema

Some women find their eczema worsens in pregnancy; others say their skin is unusually sensitive.

What you can do: See your GP if you have chronically or newly itchy skin. This could be linked to a liver problem called obstetric cholestasis.

What’s safe: Emollients such as aqueous cream, E45 or Oilatum. Or try Weleda Skin Food, great for dry, irritated patches, from £4.95 for 30ml, weleda.co.uk.

Avoid: Steroid creams with hydrocortisone, and Eumovate, unless advised by your GP.

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paracetamol

Headaches

Pregnancy hormones can make you susceptible.

What can you do: Drink lots of water and try to relax. Get checked out if paracetamol isn’t helping and your vision is affected, as this may be a sign of the serious pregnancy condition pre-eclampsia.

What’s safe: The odd paracetamol

Avoid: Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and caffeine.

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backache

Backache

Many mums-to-be suffer from backache. This is because your bump pulls the lower spine forwards so it curves, straining your lower back.

What can you do: Sit and stand up straight, and get lots of rest. Gentle exercise may help, too.

What’s safe: Hot water bottles, paracetamol and heat pads.

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Avoid: Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, or aspirin.

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