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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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The shape appeals to kids and the organic and gluten-free labels appeal to parents in the freezer aisle, but if you've got a bag of Perdue's Simply Smart Organics Gluten Free Chicken Breast Nuggets, don't cook them.

The company is recalling 49,632 bags of the frozen, fully cooked Simply Smart Organics Gluten Free Chicken Breast Nuggets because they might be contaminated with wood.

According to the USDA, Perdue received three complaints about wood In the nuggets, but no one has been hurt.

The nuggets were manufactured on October 25, 2018 with a "Best By" date of October 25, 2019. The UPC code is 72745-80656. (The USDA provides an example of the packaging here so you'll know where to look for the code).


In a statement on the Perdue website the company's Vice President for Quality Assurance, Jeff Shaw, explains that "After a thorough investigation, we strongly believe this to be an isolated incident, as only a minimal amount of these packages has the potential to contain pieces of wood."

If you have these nuggets in your freezer you can call Perdue 877-727-3447 to ask for a refund.

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Mealtime can be one of the most stressful times for parents and kids, especially when there's a picky eater in the house. Your little might get anxious about their food touching, requesting a completely new meal. Or, they might avoid the foods altogether, leaving you concerned about their nutrition. While helping your child develop healthy eating habits is the ultimate goal, you can also incorporate products that will make mealtime more fun for everyone involved.

Here are our favorite products that help picky eaters be, well, less picky (or at least enjoy mealtime enough to not worry about certain foods!).

1. Food cubby

These silicone separates suction to the plate to keep separate foods from touching, or to keep runny foods from spreading. Say goodbye to tantrums from peas and corn touching, mama.

Food Cubby Plate Divider, Amazon, $14.99

BUY

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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[Trigger warning: This essay describes a woman's emotional journey with postpartum anxiety.]

I see you, mama.

I know you don't want to feel this way. I know you're terrified of everything in the world right now. I know you want to wrap your baby in a bubble and keep them safely in your arms forever. I know you can't "sleep when the baby sleeps" because you are too nervous to drift off in case they stop breathing. I know you don't want to let anyone near your little one because they could be carrying an illness. I know you've cried in the bathroom and begged for the voice to stop. And I know you love your child more than anything in the world.

I know because I was you.

I was in the 10% of estimated women who are affected by Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) but had no idea what I was experiencing. I worried about EVERY little thing but just brushed the fears aside, thinking this was just normal of first-time motherhood. But it was something more.

I lived in constant fear that my son was either going to get hurt or he was going to die.

It started the first week of being home from the hospital. I was so scared of SIDS that I actually googled "How much sleep do I need in order to survive?" I would only get two to three hours, not because my child was keeping me up, but because I was scared he would stop breathing and I wouldn't be awake to save him.

I would religiously wash all of his clothes with baby detergent and if I thought I mistakenly used regular detergent, I would rewash everything. I was afraid he would get a skin rash if I didn't. If my husband had the slightest hint of a cold, I would banish him to the guest room and handle all of the baby duties on my own until he was fully recovered.

I would wash and rewash bottles because I was afraid they weren't clean enough and convinced myself if I didn't then he would catch a rare illness. When we supplemented with formula, I wasted multiple cans because I was so scared I didn't measure it correctly, so I would dump it and start over.

I didn't want to be this way. I didn't want to let PPA be the thief of my joy, but anxiety doesn't care who you are or what you've been through. I knew my previous miscarriages attributed to my PTSD, which manifested into anxiety.

I knew I needed help.

I cried so many nights as my husband and baby boy slept because I just wanted to feel "normal." I didn't want to overanalyze every bump or rash or cough, I wanted to enjoy being a first time mom, but I felt like I was drowning.

On top of the anxiety was guilt. I had wanted this baby so badly—I wanted to feel joy, happiness, and gratitude, and yet I felt overwhelmed, sad, and miserable. What was happening?

I would tell myself not to worry, I'd try to convince myself a regular cold was just a cold. But then a voice would come into my head and make me second guess myself. What if it was a serious infection and became fatal if I ignored it? So I rushed my baby boy to the doctor every time I thought something was wrong.

I went to the pediatrician over 20 times in my son's first year of life. One time I went because I thought he had a cancerous mole, which turned out to be a piece of lint stuck to his hair. I felt like I was losing control of myself.

Eventually, when my son was 3 months old, I went to a therapist for help. I needed someone to hear me and give me the tools to overcome this. I am not without daily anxiety, I still have many fears and I have to bring myself back to reality, but I work on it every day. I cope and I make an effort to continue with my therapist so I can beat this.

Even though this topic is hard to write about, I have no shame in my story. Carrying a child is hard, giving birth is harder, and jumping onto the roller coaster of motherhood is one hormonal, wild ride.

Mamas, we are allowed to not be okay and we have every right to make that known. I wasn't okay and it took every ounce of strength I had to get myself out of the darkness.

If I could tell you anything about struggling with this, it is this: PPA is real, it is not normal, and getting help is okay. Do not feel ashamed, do not feel embarrassed, and don't for one second think you owe anyone an explanation.

Do not let a single person make you feel like you are less of a mother. You are a magnificent human being, a loving mama bear, and you will get through this.

I see you, and I'm holding space for you.

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Ready to bring a baby on board? Feelings of excitement can often be met with those of financial concern as you prep for this milestone. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as of 2015, the cost of raising a child is $233,610—a number that can make anyone's jaw drop to the floor.

But before you start to worry, here are ways you can become more financially savvy before the baby is born:

1. Budget for healthcare costs

The cost of delivering a baby can vary by state, but suffice it to say it can be thousands of dollars. Castlight Health found that the lowest average cost of delivery was $6,075 in Kansas City, MO and the highest average cost $15,420 in Sacramento, CA. Costs are even higher for a Cesarean delivery.

The first thing you want to do is check your insurance and see what they will cover so what you will be responsible for. Then create a separate savings account so that you can cover any costs that you're on the hook for. You can set up automatic savings after each payday up until the baby is born to help assist with any healthcare costs associated with delivery.

2. Cut your expenses

Before the baby arrives, do a spending audit and see where you can slash some expenses. Free up any leftover money to help cover the increased costs that will come, such as food, clothes, and formula.

If you're struggling with how to do that, take a look at all of your expenses and write next to each either"want" or "need." Look at your "want" list and see which expenses are ones you can either eliminate or cut back on. If it doesn't bring you joy or add value, ditch it! You might even find subscriptions that you didn't know you had.

3. Go for second-hand goods

Of course, there are some things you definitely want to buy new for baby, but things like clothes and toys you can get second hand and save a lot of money. Your baby will grow so fast and buying new clothes every few months can add up. If your family members or friends have old baby clothes or toys they're willing to part with, it will save money and you can pay it forward down the line.

4. Look for sales or coupons

Clothes and toys are items that you can buy second hand, but products, like a car seat and crib are best new. You want to be up-to-date with safety and know what you're getting. Before going shopping, search for sales or coupons before you head out. A little research online can go a long way and save you hundreds.

5. Have a garage sale

If you need to make room for baby, it's time to get rid of items that you no longer use or need. Take all of the stuff you are planning to get rid of and have a garage sale to make extra money. You can also try selling online on Craigslist, Poshmark and OfferUp too.

Take the money you earn from selling your stuff and put it in your savings account earmarked for your baby.

6. Get a 529 plan

It's never too early to save for your baby's college. You can open a state-sponsored 529 plan which is a tax-advantaged savings account for education-related costs. Instead of asking for gifts or toys from family and friends, you can request money to go toward a 529 plan. It will be an impactful gift that will help your child in the future and help lessen the financial burden on you.

7. Prep now instead of later

Your whole world will change when your baby arrives, so in order to save money, time and stress, create a plan now. Is there a family or friend close by who can babysit if you need some rest or have to run an errand? Ask them now if they can help out.

Start preparing meals in bulk that can be in the freezer and easily made so you don't have to think about food. Put your bills on autopay so that you don't miss any payments and get hit with late fees. Know how long you can get maternity or paternity leave and understand how that will affect your income and budget. Getting all of this ready ahead of time can help you in the long run.

8. Purchase life insurance

While thinking about why you need life insurance can be a bit stressful, preparation is essential, especially when you're adding another member to your family. Life insurance will provide financial support if you had a loss of income due to something happening to either you or your partner.

9. Understand any tax benefits

The birth of your baby will affect your taxes, which can actually end up putting more money back into your pocket. Do some research online and see how a dependent will change your taxes in your state, such as new exemptions available. Or, find a trusted accountant or tax specialist in your area who can walk you through your options.

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