Taking medications during pregnancy can be very upsetting for women as the general belief is that they will hurt their baby(ies). However, the risks of chronic dehydration, malnutrition, metabolic and emotional stress, as well as reduced mobility must be considered. These have been demonstrated to increase the risk of complications in mothers and possibly even in their child(ren). Conversely, most studies of medications commonly used for HG have not been found to significantly increase the risk of malformations in the baby.
It is important to not only decide on the correct medication, or combination as is most common, but also to make sure a medication is being tolerated and taken correctly for optimal effectiveness. If a mother cannot swallow a pill or vomits it back up before it dissolves, then oral medications need to be replaced with medications that can be given a different route, such as a rapid dissolving films, patches or subcutaneous infusions, or even a cream or suppository made by a compounding pharmacy. Trying the most effective medications in different forms is important before trying different medications or deciding any or all meds do not work.
Keep in mind, the primary goal is to reduce nausea and vomiting so the mother can increase her intake and stay as mobile as possible. Risks and benefits must be considered in every case as each mother is unique.
- Kimber MacGibbon, RN
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