Due to the hormonal change and physical changes many expectant mothers suffer at times, head, neck, back, or body aches. That’s uncomfortable. Of course, every woman wants to get rid of the pain as quickly as possible and would prefer to take the tablet. But may a pregnant or lactating woman take this drug at all? What are the consequences of the active substance acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) for the child’s health?
What is being treated with aspirin?
The main active ingredient of an aspirin tablet is acetylsalicylic acid (short: ASA). Some aspirin medicines contain supplements such as vitamin C or caffeine to enhance their effects. Aspirin is primarily for the treatment of mild to moderate pain, such as:
- Dental, head and abdominal pain
- Pain due to rheumatic diseases
- Muscle and limb pain
Also, aspirin may have an anti-inflammatory effect, for example in the context of a flu infection. Due to its blood-thinning effect, it can help to prevent a heart attack or stroke.
During pregnancy and lactation, very strict rules apply
In general, every expectant mother should only take as many medicines during pregnancy and be breastfeeding as necessary. After all, most drugs pass through the umbilical cord to their unborn baby. If the pregnant woman takes aspirin, she also takes her child. Again, much can be treated with homeopathic remedies, massage, physical or herbal remedies that have fewer side effects.
Because aspirin has a side effect of diluting blood, pregnant women should take the drug only in consultation with their attending physician. He knows the exact medical history and can assess whether the blood-thinning effect is harmful to the unborn child.
However, it may also happen that the gynecologist Aspirin expressly prescribes an expectant mother. Namely, if she is pregnant again after a miscarriage. Some miscarriages are caused by blood clotting disorders that can be resolved by using the blood-thinning effects of aspirin.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The time of ingestion is crucial
First and second trimesters of pregnancy:
In principle, there are no concerns during the first two trimesters of pregnancy against the occasional intake of low dose aspirin. Nevertheless, the pregnant woman should first talk to her doctor. Evidence of malformations or abnormal fetal development due to infrequent low-dose aspirin dosing is still unknown.
Last trimester of pregnancy:
From the 30th week of pregnancy acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) must not be taken in any case. Due to the increased bleeding tendency, there is otherwise the risk that the mother or the baby will be harmed. There might be heavy bleeding in the mother during childbirth and thus the supply cycle to the child is interrupted too soon.
Also, aspirin may inhibit labor, thereby prolonging the birthing process. If despite all risks, even during the second trimester of pregnancy there is a compelling medical need to take aspirin, childbirth is planned from the outset as a risk birth and is monitored very strictly.
ASA passes into breast milk. Therefore, breastfeeding women should apply only in exceptional cases, in consultation with the attending physician, resort to aspirin. At higher doses and regular use, doctors and midwives usually recommend being weaned, because the liver of the newborn cannot adequately process (detoxify) the absorbed substance.
Are there alternatives?
- Other active substance:
In addition to aspirin, there are other painkillers with a similar effect, but different active ingredients. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, paracetamol is recommended first. Paracetamol should be taken only in exceptional cases, as it has more side effects than previously thought. Unlike aspirin, this drug does not affect the blood circulation of the unborn child and, in consultation with the doctor, can still be taken in late pregnancy.
- Homeopathic Remedies:
To relieve pain, there are some well-tolerated, side-effect, homeopathic medicines. Because in homeopathy it always depends on where the pain is exactly and what triggers it, it is always advisable to go to the specialist before taking it. This can be a natural doctor or the attending physician with appropriate additional training.
- Home Remedies:
Pain relief as a result of slight tension or a headache often helps with simple remedies without any side effects. This can be a well-being bath to 37 ° C as well as a cool cloth on the forehead or rest in a darkened room with soothing music.
- Aspirin during pregnancy is not strictly prohibited.
- However, ASA is always the second-choice analgesic during pregnancy and lactation. Alternatives include paracetamol, homeopathic medicine and home remedies.
- If aspirin treatment during pregnancy is urgently needed, despite all concerns, the time of ingestion and special medical monitoring of pregnant women is essential.
- In general, every expectant mother should talk to her doctor before taking acetylsalicylic acid (ASA).