If you’re pregnant, you’re probably experiencing numerous aches and pains even while reading this. The extra weight of your developing baby can put a lot of stress on your bones and joints, so aches are common. Back pain is especially common, and sometimes it might seem as though no remedy will work. Headaches are also common, even if only from the stress of major decisions during your pregnancy. There are some natural remedies that have been proven effective for treating pain associated with pregnancy, but many of these take time and are inconvenient for social settings. Pain medication is obviously the quickest and most convenient solution for aches and pains, but when you’re pregnant, it’s difficult to know which medications are safe.

When it comes to painkillers, acetaminophen is the only medication that has absolutely no associations with negative birth outcomes. Acetaminophen is most commonly sold under the brand name Tylenol, but it also comes in different varieties. As long as you take the recommended dose, there will be no negative side effects on your baby’s health or development. However, be sure to check the ingredients before you make your purchase, as some brands include caffeine or aspirin. Acetaminophen should be the only ingredient.

Overall, ibuprofen is considered safe to take during pregnancy. Motrin, Advil and Nuprin are all types of ibuprofen. However, some studies have suggested there is a risk of complications when taking these medications, especially in the third trimester. These are NSAID’s, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and they can cause a fetus’ heart vessel to close prematurely. This closure can cause serious heart and lung problems for the baby. The same actually goes for Aspirin. Aspirin is also an NSAID, and the child’s development could be hindered if the drug is taken in the third trimester.

If you’re pregnant and you’ve already taken some Aspirin or ibuprofen, don’t worry too much about it. Only a few studies support the evidence that they are dangerous to fetal development. However, if you’re looking for both peace of mind and pain relief, take acetaminophen first, as it is the only painkiller with no negative pregnancy associations. If the medication isn’t enough to ease your discomfort, contact your healthcare provider to discuss other options. While you might be afraid to take any medications during your gestation, remember that the stress of living in discomfort could have its own negative side effects.

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