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During pregnancy, your focus may have shifted to your growing baby. But you, too, may need some extra TLC, especially if you get sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 9 in 10 women take medication at some point during their pregnancies.

Many over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and prescription medications are classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) according to risk. Those falling in categories A, B, or C are generally considered "safe" for use during pregnancy. This is because the benefit of taking the medication outweighs any associated risks demonstrated by studies on animals or humans:

A: Controlled studies on pregnant women show no risk to fetus in first trimester or later trimesters.

B: Animal studies haven't shown adverse effects on fetus, but there are no controlled studies on pregnant women.-OR-Animal studies have shown adverse effects that weren't confirmed by studies on women in the first trimester.

C: Animal studies have shown adverse effects on fetus.-AND-There are either no controlled studies in women or studies on women/animals aren't available. Drugs in this category are given with caution — only if the benefit justifies the potential risk.

D: Evidence of fetal risk exists with animal or human studies. Drugs in this category may still be used if benefit outweighs risk; for example, in a life-threatening situation.

X: Adverse effects have been confirmed by animal or human studies.-OR-Adverse effects have been demonstrated in the public. Risk of taking drug outweighs any benefit. Not prescribed for women who are or may become pregnant.

Pain or headache relief

Acetaminophen (Tylenol; category B) is the drug of choice for pain during pregnancy. It's widely used with very few documented adverse effects.

Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), on the other hand, should be avoided during pregnancy.

NSAIDs include:

  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • ketoprofen (Orudis)
  • naproxen (Aleve)

If your pain is particularly severe—after a surgery, for example—your doctor may prescribe a short course of opioid pain relievers. When taken as directed, they may not affect fetal development.

That said, opioid use during pregnancy does carry the risk of withdrawal, called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), after delivery.

Cold medicine

Cold medications are not well-studied for use during pregnancy. Some doctors suggest trying to wait until after your 12th week to minimize any potential risks to your baby.

Safe options include:

  • plain cough syrup, such as Vicks
  • dextromethorphan (Robitussin; category C) and dextromethorphan-guaifenesin (Robitussin DM; category C) cough syrups
  • cough expectorant during the day
  • cough suppressant at night
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol; category B) to relieve pain and fever

The active ingredient in Sudafed, pseudoephedrine, may elevate blood pressure or affect blood flow from the uterus to the fetus. This drug isn't classified by the FDA. It may be safe during pregnancy, but speak with your doctor if you have high blood pressure or other concerns.

Doctors often recommend trying home treatments before taking medications:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water and warm liquids, like chicken soup or tea.
  • Gargle salt water to ease sore throat.
  • Use saline nose drops to fight stuffiness.
  • Humidify the air in your room.
  • Use menthol rub on your chest.
  • Try nasal strips to open airways.
  • Suck on cough drops or lozenges.

Heartburn and acid reflux

OTC antacids containing alginic acid, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium are generally safe during pregnancy:

  • aluminum hydroxide-magnesium hydroxide (Maalox; category B)
  • calcium carbonate (Tums; category C)
  • simethicone (Mylanta; category C)
  • famotidine (Pepcid; category B)

For severe heartburn, your doctor may suggest taking H2 blockers, such as:

  • ranitidine (Zantac; category B)
  • cimetidine (Tagamet; category B)

Lifestyle changes may also help take the edge off heartburn:

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that doesn't put pressure on your abdomen.
  • Try keeping a food diary to help identify certain foods that may trigger your reflux.
  • Wait three hours to lie down after meals. Avoid late meals right before bedtime.
  • Sleep with your head elevated at night.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day.

Speak with your doctor if your heartburn becomes severe. In rare cases, it may be a sign of HELLP syndrome. This is a serious pregnancy complication.

Mild and severe allergies

Mild allergies may respond well to lifestyle measures. If you need some extra help, the following OTC oral antihistamines are generally considered safe:

  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl; category B)
  • chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton; category B)
  • loratadine (Claritin, Alavert; category B)
  • cetirizine (Zyrtec; category B)

If your allergies are more severe, your doctor may suggest taking an OTC corticosteroid spray at a low dose along with an oral antihistamine. Options include:

  • budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy; category C)
  • fluticasone (Flonase; category C)
  • mometasone (Nasonex; category C)

You may also try the following lifestyle changes:

  • Avoid going outdoors or opening windows on high pollen days.
  • Take off clothing you've been wearing outdoors. Rinse off pollen from skin and hair with a quick shower.
  • Wear a mask while completing outdoor chores or enlist the help of someone else for tasks like mowing.
  • Rinse nasal passages with saline spray or a neti pot.

Constipation

Stool softeners are generally considered safe during pregnancy. Options include Colace or Surfak.

Laxatives, like Senokot, Dulcolax or Milk of Magnesia, may also help, but speak with your doctor before trying any of these medications.

Other treatment options for constipation include the following:

  • Drink more water and fluids. Prune juice is another good choice.
  • Add more exercise to each day.
  • Eat more fiber. You can find fiber in fruits and vegetables (with skins, if possible), beans, and whole grains.
  • Ask your doctor about fiber supplements, like Metamucil.

Nausea and vomiting

Morning sickness is common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Treatment isn't always needed. Try home remedies, like eating small meals throughout the day or sipping ginger ale, before reaching for medications.

You might try:

  • vitamin B-6, 25 milligrams by mouth three times a day
  • doxylamine succinate (Unisom; category B)
  • dimenhydrinate (Dramamine; category B)

There are medications your doctor may prescribe if you're experiencing severe nausea and vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum):

  • doxylamine succinate-pyridoxine hydrochloride (Diclegis; category A)
  • ondansetron (Zofran; category B)

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids may develop during pregnancy due to swollen blood vessels or constipation.

Safe treatment options include:

  • Tucks pads or other witch hazel pads
  • Preparation H
  • Anusol

You may want to try other methods first:

  • Soak the hemorrhoids by filling a tub with warm water. Don't add soap or bubble bath.
  • Stand or lie on your side when possible.
  • Try a ring cushion or hemorrhoid pillow for when you must sit.
  • Treat constipation by taking stool softeners, drinking more fluids, getting more exercise, and eating more fiber.

Yeast infections

Yeast infections are common in pregnancy. Still, it's a good idea to contact your doctor for a proper diagnosis before treating it at home.

Safe medications include:

  • miconazole (Monistat; category C)
  • clotrimazole (Lotrimin; category C)
  • butoconazole (Femstat; category C)

Home remedies and natural treatments are generally not recommended for yeast infections during pregnancy.

Skin rashes, cuts, scrapes

Rashes and itchy skin can be treated with OTC hydrocortisone cream during pregnancy. But mention these symptoms to your doctor to rule out conditions like pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPPs). You doctor may prescribe steroidal creams for certain conditions.

For cuts and scrapes, clean the area well with soap and water. You may then apply an OTC antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin, for added protection.

Difficulty sleeping

Safe medications for insomnia are those in the diphenhydramine (category B) family, including:

  • Sominex
  • Nytol

Doxylamine succinate (Unisom; category B) is another possibility that may also be used if you're experiencing insomnia.

If OTC methods don't work, your doctor may prescribe the following after weighing the benefits and risks:

  • sedating tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline; category C)
  • benzodiazepines (Ativan, Klonopin; category D)

Benzodiazepines may be associated with risk of cleft or lip palate. Use in later pregnancy may not carry this risk.

Lifestyle changes you can try include the following:

  • Schedule sleep for consistent wake and bedtimes.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Limit napping to no more than 30 minutes per day.
  • Skip caffeine and other stimulants.
  • Create a nighttime ritual. For example, take a bath, listen to music, or do yoga.
  • Explore alternative treatments, such as meditation or acupuncture.

Supplement use during pregnancy

Discuss any supplements you take or plan to take during your pregnancy with your doctor.

While prenatal vitamins are recommended to support levels of essential vitamins and minerals, like folate, other supplements may pose risks to your baby. They may also interact with medications you're already taking.

Note that just because something is labeled "all-natural" doesn't always mean it's safe. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way as prescription drugs. Approach them with caution and discuss using with your doctor before starting any.

Prescription medications you're already . taking

Before pregnancy, you may already be taking prescription medications for thyroid issues, high blood pressure, or other conditions. Speak with your doctor about continuing these medications, especially if you're already pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near future.

In many cases, you may safely take your medication during pregnancy. Sometimes you may need to either adjust dosages or switch to another medication that's considered safer for you and baby.

Alternative therapies

Complementary and alternative therapies may be good options to during pregnancy. Examples include:

  • acupuncture
  • acupressure
  • chiropractic care
  • massage therapy

Certain complementary and alternative medication methods, especially those involving herbs or supplements, may not be safe, however. In general, alternative therapies aren't well-studied, so discuss any you plan on trying with your doctor.

Also, do your homework on different practitioners before heading in for a visit. Ensure they have the appropriate licenses to practice on pregnant women.

The takeaway

There are many medications you can safely take during pregnancy. The key is communicating with your healthcare provider.

A great online, evidence-based resource to check is Mother to Baby. It provides fact sheets on different drugs as well as additional information on potential interactions and birth defects.

Even better, most obstetrics offices have a helpline you can call between appointments. Don't hesitate to dial in with any and all of your questions or concerns.

Originally posted on Healthline.

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Sometimes it can feel like toys are a mama's frenemy. While we love the idea of entertaining our children and want to give them items that make them happy, toys can end up taking the joy out of our own motherhood experience. For every child begging for another plastic figurine, there's a mama who spends her post-bedtime hours digging toys out from under the couch, dining room table and probably her own bed.

Like so many other moms, I've often found myself between this rock and hard place in parenting. I want to encourage toys that help with developmental milestones, but struggle to control the mess. Is there a middle ground between clutter and creative play?

Enter: Lovevery.

lovevery toys

Lovevery Play Kits are like the care packages you wish your child's grandparent would send every month. Expertly curated by child development specialists, each kit is crafted to encourage your child's current developmental milestones with beautiful toys and insightful activity ideas for parents. A flip book of how-tos and recommendations accompanies each box, giving parents not only tips for making the most of each developmental stage, but also explaining how the games and activities benefit those growing brains.

Even better, the toys are legitimately beautiful. Made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials materials and artfully designed, I even find myself less bothered when my toddler leaves hers strewn across the living room floor.

What I really love, though, is that the kits are about so much more than toys. Each box is like a springboard of imaginative, open-ended play that starts with the included playthings and expands into daily activities we can do during breakfast or while driving to and from lessons. For the first time, I feel like a company isn't just trying to sell me more toys―they're providing expert guidance on how to engage in educational play with my child. And with baby kits that range from age 0 to 12 months and toddler kits for ages 13 to 24 months, the kits are there for me during every major step of development I'll encounter as a new mama.

So maybe I'll never love toys―but I will always love spending time with my children. And with Lovevery's unique products, mixing those worlds has become child's play.


This article was sponsored by Lovevery. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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One hour.

That's all this summer goal requires. It requires pretty much no planning or bucket list-making or thought, other than keeping your eyes open for opportunity. This hour will find you.

I figured out the impact of this hour when we spent last weekend at a water park while my son played lacrosse. Going back and forth from game to hotel water park all weekend left us feeling disjointed and exhausted. It was lots of fun, but I was just tired at the end of it. Every bone in my body couldn't wait to get home.

My kids, however, who can run all day and still not be tired, really wanted just one more hour in the water park. This meant I'd have to put on my bathing suit. We had to check out of our room, so if we stayed, we'd have to change in the damp, icky changing area. My hair would be wet. The water park was so loud. Not one thing about the idea of staying sounded appealing to me.

But still, they wanted to stay. They looked at us with hopeful eyes, begging for the fun to continue. Pretty much every other family was headed home. But we made a decision that changed how I am looking at my whole summer – and, really, how I'm looking at how my role as a parent.

FEATURED VIDEO

We stayed the extra hour. I am not exaggerating when I say it made all the difference.

I dug deep and decided I was going to be Fun Mom for an hour. I could have been Sit-in-a-chair-and-half-heartedly-watch-their-antics Mom for an hour, but I decided that would be a waste. If I wasn't going home, I was going to really be there for an hour. I was going to get my hair wet and not complain. For one hour, I was basically going to be a kid.

And it was So. Much. Fun.

I realized how important this hour was about 10 minutes in, when I found myself racing up the steps of the kiddie water slide area, chasing after Sam, plotting how I could adjust my way of sliding to finally beat him in our water slide race. I was ALL IN at that moment.

When I said I would slide with him, Sam's eyes lit right up and his little arms shot up in the air with a giant “YES!" He wanted to have fun with me. In that moment, I was not just Fun Mom. I was Fun Amy.

Having fun with your kids allows you to see them in a whole new light. I watched Sam use his God-given giant load of energy to run and run and run and embrace that hour, so much that I think he may be a fun genius.

I watched Kate fearlessly whip down water slides that made me scream like a baby. She held my hand. She was the one who was brave. She had no fear, and her fierce independence and determination made me feel lucky to be her friend for an hour.

I watched Thomas take Sam under his wing when it was his turn for slide races. I watched him teach Sam new water tricks and happily play in the kiddie area with reckless abandon, being kind and awesome to his brother at every turn.

I watched Ellie and Lily with their arms around each other, best friends for this sacred hour. I went down sides with each of them and floated through the lazy river as we all chatted, without a care in the world.

I held Todd's hand and rode down a slide with him in a double tube, just like in our dating days, our kids watching from behind, rolling their eyes with huge grins on their faces, hopefully seeing that marriage is more than making lunches and carting them around – that marriage is having actual fun with each other.

Spend the hour, my friends.

This hour reminded me how awesome it is to be the fun mom, to just be human with your kids. It reminded me how amazing it can be to say yes.

Sure, I could have used that hour to start on the massive pile of laundry we brought home. And full disclosure: We pushed ourselves to the point that there was plenty of super tired whining and complaining when we drove home. That hour could have saved us from having to stop for a little treat on the way home because now dinner was too far away. The house might have been cleaner and my people fed on time and in bed earlier had we not spent the hour.

But the laundry and the whining and the feeding of the people will always be there. That hour of fun was not only priceless. It was fleeting, like a feather in the wind we could catch if we tried. And we did.

Your hour may not be water park fun. This may sound like sheer torture to you. But your hour can be anything. And seriously, it's just an hour. We can do anything for an hour.

Thinking back, I remember my parents taking this same hour with us. My dad raced from roller coaster to roller coaster with my more adventurous siblings. My mom became more fun than any teenage shopping buddy we had. They spent the time. They took the hour. And we have amazing family memories because of it.

Life tries to drum that hour out of us. It tries to make us believe that getting stuff done is the ultimate prize. I am all for folded laundry and an empty sink and kids who are asleep at bedtime. But don't let life keep you from taking an hour here and there.

Find what you love, share it with your kids, say yes even when every bone in your old and weary body says no. Let your kids hear you scream like a kid going down a water slide. Get your hair wet. Eat ice cream for dinner. Play a family game of tag at the park as the sun goes down.

Show your kids you are more than a task master who cares too much about beds being made. Show them that you are not just the adult who wants them to entertain themselves at the water park while you sit in a hot tub (although I did that this weekend, too, and it was amazing).

Show them that family is fun, and that fun can actually come first. Show them the kid in you. It will bond you together in a whole new way.

Make it your goal this summer to take the hour. Those moments will make all the difference. And it's the moments that will change your family forever.

This post was originally published on Hiding in the Closet with Coffee.

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Breastfeeding is not easy. But neither is weaning. That's why this powerful photo from Brazilian mama Maya Vorderstrasse is going viral. Her husband captured the first time she ever breastfed their second daughter and next to it, almost two years later, the last time she fed their daughter from her breast.

And it's not just the photo that is powerful. In her caption Maya shares her emotional struggles with weaning and the tricks they used to make this transition easier for their youngest daughter. The caption reads:

"The first and last time my precious daughter ever nursed.

I didn't know that one person could feel so proud and so broken at the same time, right now I am a hormonal, emotional, and mental mess.

Raising my arm in this picture was very difficult for me as I had to fight through uncontrollable tears: this picture meant that I would never breastfeed my daughter ever again. I have been nursing for so long, that I don't know what it's like to not nurse anymore.



As I looked behind the camera, my husband is crying like I had never seen him cry before, like seriously, a deep gut cry. I was her comfort, her safe place, and I hope she still finds me that way. A month shy of 2 years old, she finally has a bed in a shared bedroom with her sister. We bought her her first bed, used any distraction we could come up with, snacks and new toys to keep her mind off of it.

My husband has taken over bedtime completely, including all nighttime wakings. We are on our third day, and every day gets a little bit easier. The guilt I feel for not putting her to bed is so intense and I can't wait to go back to it once she doesn't ask to nurse anymore. Closing a chapter is painful, but I am hopeful that this new season of our lives will also be special in its own way.

Through this maturation step she will not only grow more independent, but I will get a much needed break. She unlatched for the last time and sobbingly I said to my husband: "I did my best". He hugged me and responded with: "No. You did THE best, because you gave her your all". I love my family and am so thankful for such special and unforgettable moments like these. 💛

*my lazy boob has no clue about what's going on, but thoughts and prayers are accepted for my good one, I really think it might explode🤱🏻

**thank you to my husband, for insisting on filming this, I will treasure this forever.🤳🏼👩"

You've got this mama!

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If you're looking for basics for the kids for summer, you're in luck, mama. Primary clothes don't have logos or sparkles—they're classic prints and colors that can easily transition from one kid to the next. And this week, Primary is celebrating the new season with a major summer sale.

Items, like swimsuits, dresses, polos and more, are over 50% off. Most pieces are under $10 so you can stock up on an entire new wardrobe without breaking the budget.

Here's what we're adding to our carts—shop the entire sale here:

1. Baby rainbow stripe rash guard

With UPF 50, you can rest easy knowing baby has extra protection outdoors.

$14.50

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2. The track short

The easy pull-on waist will make outfit changes a breeze.

$10.50

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3. Rainbow stripe one-piece

Cute? Check. Will stay in place? Check. UPF 50? Check.

$18.00

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4. The short sleeve twirly dress

Made of 100% cotton jersey, this one will be a staple all summer long.

$10.00

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5. The polo babysuit

Perfect to dress up or down.

$8.00

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Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Being an adult is no joke. Beyond dressing ourselves and our kids and, ya know, feeding and bathing the family, there are so many other things that life throws at us. And because we're adults, we have to take care of these myriad to-dos. Welcome to: Adulting!

I'm not just talking about laundry, filling up the gas tank and stocking the fridge with groceries, but those tasks that always get pushed back. Getting life insurance. Refinancing your loan debt. (Students loans? Us, too.) Signing up for marriage counseling.

But guess what? These seemingly heavy-lift tasks are now a whole lot easier and faster to tackle. Here's how to check off your most tedious adulting chores.

The life insurance

When you're single with no descendants, life insurance might not seem like a top priority. But when you suddenly have a kid (or three), setting your family up for financial success is a must. And thanks to Ladder, obtaining a policy isn't the taxing, cringe-inducing process it used to be! It's modern and easy to use—seriously, you can even sign up for a policy from your phone or tablet. Ladder makes it possible to obtain a policy in under five minutes. Yes, really. See? No need to procrastinate!

LEARN MORE

The student loan redux

You have the degree and the career and you also have the debt. And like us, you're likely just paying your monthly minimums without considering refinancing your student loans—because that sounds hard and complicated. Laurel Road simplifies the process. You can check your rates in only a few minutes (and don't worry, doing so won't impact to your credit score!).

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The marriage counselor

Did you know that 66% of couples report a drop in marital satisfaction when baby arrives? It's not surprising that an infant can cause stress for mama, but all that pressure can affect your relationship, too. Taking the time to really invest in marriage counseling often falls to the bottom of the to-do lists because of the many hurdles—finding a therapist, traveling to appointments, the cost of copays or out-of-pocket fees, the stigma around it all. With Lasting, however, you and your partner pair your apps and can begin working on your relationship together on your own timeline.

LEARN MORE

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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