There are millions of reasons why a doctor can prescribe antibiotics during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Some common reasons include yeast infection, urinary tract infections or respiratory infections. But still, you wonder, are antibiotics safe? Here is what found out.
Safe antibiotics in pregnancy
During my research about antibiotics and pregnancy, I discovered that many antibiotics are safe to take when pregnant but there are a few that are unsafe, and others fall in between.
Some of the antibiotics that are safe during pregnancy include:
- Penicillin, ( amoxicillin, ampicillin)
- Cephalosporin, including cefaclor, cephalexin
Your doctor can recommend nitrofurantoin if your UTI has moved to kidneys. But it’s important to stop taking the medication if you’re 36 weeks pregnant or as soon as you start preterm labor because they can destroy some of your child’s red blood cells.
Unsafe antibiotics in pregnancy
Some antibiotics can pose some serious problems during pregnancy. A good example of unsafe antibiotics that should be avoided during pregnancy includes tetracyclines. It can cause discoloration of your child’s teeth and damage a mother’s kidney, and that’s why doctors don’t recommend the use of this antibiotic after the 15th week of pregnancy.
Other antibiotics to avoid during pregnancy
- Trimethoprim is unsafe to take while pregnant because it blocks the effects of folic acid. Folic acid is very crucial before and during pregnancy as it prevents congenital disabilities. If there’s no other alternative make sure that you include a daily dose of prenatal vitamin with folic acid to ensure that you’re still getting enough.
- Streptomycin a medication used to treat tuberculosis should be avoided because it causes hearing loss to your child.
- Minocycline and Oxytetracycline can cause liver damage to a mother.
Some antibiotics such as sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim are used to treat advanced UTI. However, these antibiotics have been thought to increase the possibility of congenital disabilities occurrence, but there’s been no direct proof to this claim.
Antibiotics and Pregnancy: The Risk Factors
There are too many other antibiotics not listed here (but we’ve listed common ones) and it’s important to discuss with your doctors the benefits vs. the risk of the antibiotics prescribed.
In most cases, antibiotics can be a true lifesaver, and while they might pose some risk to your pregnancy, it’s always good to do what’s best for your overall health. Sometimes not taking the antibiotics could put you and your baby at a higher risk.