5 Things To Think Before Taking Antibiotics While Pregnant

Pregnancy is a time when you need to be extra careful about both your and the growing fetus’s health. Especially when you deal with the fair share of aches, infections, nausea, cold, flu, and back pain, you would probably end up taking antibiotics.

Now, the question of taking antibiotics during pregnancy is safe or not arises. If you are prescribed antibiotics during pregnancy for a reason, be equally aware of its side effects and dangers before popping it. However, the doubt about taking antibiotics during pregnancy would still keep lurking around your head.


Recent studies indicate that erythromycin and nitrofurantoin can be used as second-line drugs in the first trimester. The results from studies concur with the recommendations for pregnant women in national guidelines regarding antibiotic use in the primary health service.1 Although the study indicates it can be used during the first trimester, increased use of antibiotics has become quite controversial.

Things You Need To Know About Taking Antibiotics

1. Unaware Of Your Pregnancy? You May Be At Risk!

Studies suggest that risks are higher in women who take antibiotics without knowing about their pregnancy. Doctors are extra cautious before prescribing any medication to an expectant woman. It is also always safer to speak to your doctor as soon as you get to know about your pregnancy. This will avoid all complications during pregnancy and after the delivery.


2. Risk Of Miscarriage During Early Pregnancy

There are certain antibiotics if taken during the early stages of pregnancy could nearly double the risk of miscarriage. A study conducted in Denmark indicates an increased hazard of miscarriage but no increased prevalence of having offspring with malformations among women redeeming a prescription of clarithromycin (antibiotic) in early pregnancy.2 It is also reassuring for all expectant moms that not all antibiotics have increased risk.

3. Antibiotics Do Not Increase The Risk Of Cerebral Palsy Or Epilepsy

Despite many views on antibiotics use and its effect on the fetus born with cerebral palsy or epilepsy, a scientific review indicates that majority of antibiotics prescribed during pregnancy do not increase the risk of cerebral palsy or epilepsy in babies born at term. In some cases, antibiotics are a must for infections, not taking antibiotics could also lead to different problems.


4. Weight Of Baby Linked To Antibiotic Use

Did you know that the weight of your baby is linked with the exposure to antibiotics during pregnancy? A study conducted on pregnant women exposed to antibiotics, it was found that exposure to antibiotics in the second or third trimester was associated with higher offspring risk of childhood obesity.3

Antibiotics are powerful drugs that destroy the growth of bacteria. Consuming certain antibiotics for common cold, flu, and urinary infections during pregnancy are vital to stop the infection which might also affect the fetus. If this is a matter of your concern, you should talk to your doctor before consuming any medication.


5. Effect Of Antibiotics On Breastfeeding Infants

The effect of antibiotics on breastfeeding infants isn’t harmful in most cases. Breastfeeding is undoubtedly the best form of nutrition for newborns. Antibiotic usage is fairly common in breastfeeding moms when required. There is a potential risk of transfer to infants through breast milk. While most medicines taken by lactating women cause no harm to their babies, at times it can result in serious consequences.4

Get to know everything about the medication prescribed by your doctor before consumption. In general, during pregnancy, consumption of antibiotics could be avoided. If it gets unavoidable in certain cases, consult with your doctor and take low dosages to avoid any associated risks.