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HHS HealthBeat (February 22, 2011)

Good medicine, but maybe not for Baby

Pregnant woman taking medicine
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Like everyone else, pregnant women often take medications or supplements. Sometimes they’re needed to treat Mom’s medical condition. But in some cases, the products can raise the risk of a birth defect, so women should check with their health care providers before use.

At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheryl Broussard says 3 percent of babies have birth defects. She also says that about two-thirds of pregnant women use at least one medication. She notes that:

``It’s very important that women talk with their doctors and health care providers about the risks and benefits of taking prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications before getting pregnant, during pregnancy, and also while breastfeeding and in between pregnancies.’’ (16 seconds)

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 7, 2011