Medication / Supplement Precautions

First trimester (first 13 – 14 weeks from your last menstrual period): Do not take any medication (over the counter or prescribed by a physician) other than prenatal vitamins and Tylenol (Acetaminophen), without checking with your physician or his/her nurse. If you have a medical condition for which you routinely take medication, check with both the ordering physician and your obstetrician regarding continuing the medication.


Cold medications: See minor illnesses

Cough medications: See minor illnesses

Antibiotics: Some antibiotics can be safely used in early pregnancy if the need arises. Be sure the prescribing physician knows you are pregnant.

Supplements and Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins: Prenatal vitamins should be taken daily with a meal.

Vitamins: Mega doses of vitamins have not been shown to be safe in pregnancy.

Herbal supplements: Check with your physician or nurse regarding specific supplements. As with medications, avoid supplements during the first trimester.

Calcium: Pregnant women should consume at least 1000 mg. of calcium/day through diet or supplement. If you need a supplement, take oyster shell calcium (such as Oscal, Caltrate, Citracal, Viactiv) or its generic equivalent. If you experience leg cramps, you may not be getting adequate calcium.

Iron: Supplemental iron will be recommended if you are anemic. Your blood count will be checked at your first visit and again at about 26-28 weeks of pregnancy. Iron supplements should be taken with food, at a different meal from your prenatal vitamin.

Tests and Vaccines

Flu Vaccine: The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all pregnant women have a flu shot at the recommended time.

Tdap Vaccine: The CDC recommends pregnant women get a Tdap vaccine after 20 weeks with each pregnancy. Tdap vaccine is to protect mom and baby against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Whooping cough can be very dangerous for newborns.

Hepatitis B Vaccine: If you are in the process of receiving your three injections, you may continue those injections, even in the first trimester. If you haven’t started the series of injections, it would be preferable to begin the series after the first trimester.

TB skin test: This test may be done any time during your pregnancy.

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