Yet another study’s been released that basically tells pregnant women to suffer in silence for almost 10 months. Okay, okay – I’m a fan of hyperbole. But seriously – we can’t even take Tylenol with a clear conscience anymore. Tylenol. According to a new study, frequent use by pregnant women may be linked to poorer language skills and behavior problems in their children.
“Our findings suggest that (acetaminophen) might not be as harmless as we think,” Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen said. She led the study at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo in Norway.
She and her coauthors studied 48,000 Norwegian children whose mothers answered survey questions about their medication use at weeks 17 and 30 of pregnancy, and again six months after giving birth.
Close to four percent of women took Tylenol for at least 28 days total during pregnancy.
Their children seemed to have poorer motor skills than kids whose mothers had taken the drug fewer times or not at all. Tylenol-exposed kids also tended to start walking later, have poorer communication and language skills and more behavior problems.
28 total days in the pregnancy? Does that seem like a lot to you – because it doesn’t to me. I had mind-numbing headaches in my first and last trimesters and every time I mentioned them to my midwife she always suggested hydration and Tylenol. In both my pregnancies, Tylenol was always the go-to medication and really the only one that both my midwife and OB would freely recommend.
I didn’t think there was a need to keep track of how much I took, so I didn’t. But frankly, I think I could have conceivably come close to taking it 28 times in the roughly five or so months I had those headaches during my pregnancy. They found no problems in the study linked with Ibuprofen use. But I was always warned against Ibuprofen use while pregnant. It’s considered a category D drug in the third trimester – which always freaked me out: “That means there’s significant evidence that taking it in the third trimester could harm your baby. But ibuprofen doesn’t fit neatly into a category during the rest of pregnancy.”
“Long-term use of (acetaminophen) increased the risk of behavior problems by 70 percent at age three,” Brandlistuen said. “That is considerable.”
“But for those people who wish to take precautions, this is something they can do,” Herbert said, referring to pregnant women cutting down on Tylenol use or choosing ibuprofen instead.
“With every choice you make, make the healthy choice,” she said.
I’m so glad I’m done making babies.