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ARE MOSQUITO REPELLENTS AND OTHER COMMON MEDICATIONS SAFE IN PREGNANCY?

118986798__Are_Mosquito_Repellents_and_Other_Common_Medications_Safe_in_Pregnancy

It's a good idea to get some medical advice before taking any medication when you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Here are some of your most common questions answered.

By week 13 you're likely to be over your early pregnancy nausea and ready to enjoy your pregnancy to the max. Staying healthy is important for both you and your baby, and it's always best to check before you use anything medicated that might have an effect on your or your baby's wellbeing. Here's some advice on common medications:

Are mosquito repellents with DEET ok to use while I'm pregnant?

With dengue, malaria and the Zika virus popping up in the news sometimes, it's important to protect yourself against diseases carried by mosquitoes. Less than 10 percent of DEET is absorbed through the skin and studies have shown that it won't harm your unborn baby. Use a repellent with a low concentration of DEET and apply it on your clothing instead of your skin.

Is evening primrose oil a safe supplement to take during pregnancy?

Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is a plant extract, a rich source of essential fatty acids and is commonly used. Although there are some reports that suggest it might affect the opening of the womb, there's not enough research to confirm whether it's safe or harmful to take during pregnancy.

Can I take painkillers while I'm pregnant?

Paracetamol is OK to use but avoid those with added caffeine. Avoid ibuprofen as this can affect your baby's development.

I'm having trouble sleeping — can I take sleeping pills?

Stay away from sleeping pills. Some studies show their use can increase the risk of heart and stomach malformations and cleft palate for the unborn baby. Medical experts do not recommend you take it during pregnancy.

My weight is piling on — can I take slimming pills?

Many of the slimming pills you can buy over the counter contain herbs and have not been approved as safe in pregnancy. They should be avoided for this reason — and also because losing weight during pregnancy could affect your baby's development.


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By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Janice TUNG Senior O&G Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Sources:
The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore

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