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During pregnancy, unlike on regular days, you need to think twice before popping in just any pill. It is not just you alone anymore; there is another life growing inside you and hence, anything that goes into you goes to that human as well. Even though the best way to avoid irritating pains of sorts during pregnancy is to focus on your diet and hydration, we understand that things might go a little off-road at times.
Your hormone levels are accelerated, the production of hCG (the pregnancy hormone), and blood pressure are peaking causing some common headaches. Popping a pill like Tylenol for a headache might look like the only way out. Doctors do recommend taking Tylenol for mild back pains and headaches during pregnancy as an instant shot of relief. Tylenol is also further safe for reducing mild temperatures during pregnancy. But pregnancy gives you the worries of using over-the-counter medications like Tylenol.
Pregnancy also gives you its fair share of other aches too such as sore ankles and relentless backaches. Even though they are normal, it might hurt a lot. So you end up wondering if you can take Tylenol while pregnant.
Let’s Address The Elephant in The Room: Can You Take Tylenol While Pregnant?
65% of women have been reported to have taken acetaminophen (a drug contained in Tylenol) during their pregnancy. Tylenol is considered safer than ibuprofen or aspirin, which can otherwise cause some birth defects in the baby. To make this decision a tad bit easier for you here’s everything you need to know about popping a Tylenol for headache/ backache during pregnancy:
How Much Tylenol Can You Take While Being Pregnant?
Tylenol essentially is a pain-relieving drug that contains acetaminophen. Consult your physician and take the recommended adult dosage of regular-strength Tylenol. But how often can you take Tylenol while pregnant? Two 325 mg liquid capsules or tablets are usually recommended for 4 to 6 hours while your symptoms of pain or fever last. You should not take more than 10 capsules or tablets in a 24-hour timeline even if your pain doesn’t subside.
Can You Take Extra Strength Tylenol While Pregnant?
Tylenol Extra Strength, much like the regular Tylenol, contains acetaminophen but with a higher potency. Having said that, Tylenol Extra Strength is also considered safe for a pregnant woman if taken as per the recommended dosage for adults (2 caplets every 6 hours while symptoms last). It should be made sure that you do not take more than 6 caplets in 24 hours.
Can You Take Tylenol PM While Pregnant?
Unlike Tylenol or Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol PM is a combination drug containing acetaminophen and diphenhydramine (commonly known as the antihistamine found in Benadryl). Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine are also considered safe for occasional use by pregnant women. However, if you are using Tylenol PM, ensure that you follow the recommended dosage for adults – 2 caplets at bedtime, and no more than 2 caplets in 24 hours.
What Are The Risks Involved if You Can Take Tylenol While Pregnant?
Acetaminophen indeed is one of the safest pain-relieving remedies for pregnant women. However, research does point out that there could be a possible connection between the consumption of acetaminophen and a slight chance of a baby being born with asthma, ADHD, and autism. But again, if you do read this paper, you will learn that there is no strong, concrete evidence to prove the possibility yet.
It is so because the research was done on animals and the administered dosage was also higher than normal. If not animals, some part of the study was also based on self-reports that came through women who took Tylenol during pregnancy. While this means there is no definitive proof, it is still recommended to be safer than sorry. Always consult your doctor before taking a tablet and, perhaps, take the lowest dose possible.
If Not Tylenol, What Else? Here are Some Measures to Get Relief From Pain and Aches During Pregnancy
If you are an expecting mother who is still unsure about popping a pill and would rather resort to a natural method of alleviating your back pain or headache, we are here to help!
Here are some natural methods of getting over pregnancy-related back pain and headache-
Regular meditation, even if it is for a few minutes in the day, can greatly help you get rid of head and backaches. This is because meditation essentially reduces stress and helps you get better sleep. Using a meditation app like Calm could also be helpful.
- Prenatal yoga
Gentle stretching, prenatal yoga, and other forms of pregnancy-safe exercises release tension from your muscles and strengthens them to support the baby, thereby relieving you back pain. Deep breathing during yoga also helps reduce tension headaches.
- Hot/cold packs
While hot packs are helpful to get rid of sinus-related headaches and general muscle aches, cold packs come to use for tension headaches.
- Prenatal massage
A special massage for pregnant women, this helps relax tight body muscles, thereby lowering the stress and alleviating aches.
- Hydration and snacking
Regular, periodic hydration and munching on a snack helps maintain your sugar levels and keep you from dehydrating. A good, balanced, and regular diet alone can solve so many problems!
- Belly belts
Belly belts or maternity belts are these rigid belts that are designed to support the belly and reduce the extra pressure on your back. However, before you buy a belly belt, double-check to ensure that you have picked a belt that is safe for you and the baby.
- Body pillows
Placing a pregnancy pillow between your legs when you lie on your side helps reduce pressure on the lower back, hence, alleviating back pain. Pillows also provide cushioning for the baby bump for some extra support while sleeping.
The Bottom Line: Can You Take Tylenol While Pregnant?
While these home remedies and pregnancy-safe medicines like Tylenol can be of help if you do happen to face too many head or backaches, or even other aches of sorts, do not shy from consulting your doctor. A professional could help you figure out what exactly needs to be changed for a healthier, happier mommy and baby!