Navigating through pregnancy demands extraordinary attentiveness, especially when it involves utilizing medications. Aleve (naproxen), a frequent choice for over-the-counter pain relief, often stirs questioning about its suitability for expecting mothers. In this article, we will explore can you take Aleve while pregnant, potential risks associated with the use of Aleve while pregnant and offer alternative options for managing pain and discomfort.
What is Aleve?
Categorized as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), Aleve functions by counteracting prostaglandins, the body’s chemicals that trigger pain and inflammation. This makes it an effective solution for pain alleviation and lowering fevers. Nonetheless, the appropriateness of Aleve use during pregnancy remains a subject of discussion and careful consideration among healthcare professionals.
Is It Safe to Take Aleve During Pregnancy?
Taken at face value, Aleve is generally not considered safe during pregnancy, particularly during the second and third trimesters. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly advises against the use of Aleve past the 20th week of pregnancy due to its potential to lower amniotic fluid levels.
The consumption of NSAID medications, like Aleve, during the second and third trimesters has been associated with risks such as low birth weight, asthma in early childhood, and bleeding in expecting mothers. The use of Aleve during the first trimester may carry lower risk but is still advised against unless specifically recommended by your physician. Certain evidence indicates that NSAIDs can cause miscarriages if taken early in pregnancy.
Risks Associated with the Use of Aleve While Pregnant
Aleve intake while pregnant can lead to a series of complications. For example, it can reduce the amount of amniotic fluid, yielding harmful effects such as kidney malfunction in the baby. Low amniotic fluid can impact the development of fetal lungs and the gastrointestinal tract.
Taking Aleve during the first trimester carries some risk; it’s best to avoid it unless deemed necessary by your healthcare provider. Research indicates possible increased risk of miscarriage, particularly if taken around conception and implantation times, due to Aleve’s anti-inflammatory properties.
In rare occasions, NSAID intake could lead prematurely to the closure of a blood vessel known as ductus arteriosus, which helps divert blood away from an unborn baby’s lungs. If closed early due to NSAID use, it may trigger heart complications and potentially fetal death.
Aleve After Pregnancy
After giving birth, you may resume taking Aleve for postpartum pain management. NSAIDs are the first-choice treatments for postpartum pain, as they not only help manage the pain but also reduce inflammation resulting from tissue trauma during birth.
Safe Alternatives During Pregnancy
As Aleve use during pregnancy is not considered a safe option, several alternatives can be tried to relieve pregnancy aches and pains. These include prenatal massage or yoga, which have been shown to improve back and leg pain associated with pregnancy. The universally accepted analgesic, Tylenol (acetaminophen), is generally considered safe at any point during pregnancy. However, consultation with a healthcare provider is always advised before taking any medication.
Avoiding potential risks while providing efficient pain relief is the primary concern during pregnancy. Even though the effects of just one dose of Aleve during pregnancy are not well understood, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Always consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medications during your term to ensure the safety of both you and your baby.
What can I take for pain relief if Aleve is not safe while pregnant?
Tylenol (acetaminophen) is commonly considered safe throughout pregnancy. However, always consult a healthcare provider before taking any medication. Natural remedies like prenatal massage or yoga could also help with pregnancy-related pains.
What are the risks of taking Aleve while pregnant?
Common risks associated with taking Aleve during pregnancy include low birth weight, early childhood asthma, and maternal vaginal bleeding. In rare cases, it may cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus, a crucial blood vessel for fetal survival.
Can Aleve affect my baby during pregnancy?
Yes. Taking Aleve during pregnancy, particularly after the 20th week, can lower the amniotic fluid levels, which could impact the baby’s health.