Many pregnant women like to be careful with what they take during pregnancy, so concerns about the safety of taking antibiotics are quite valid. As with any pharmaceutical medication during pregnancy, there is nothing to be gained by taking it without good reason. In the case of antibiotics, the wrong type could even be harmful. Many of us have read that overuse of antibiotics can build the resistance of bacteria, and can prolong infections. However, in certain cases, antibiotics might be necessary. Your doctor will have the best advice for your particular situation.
Benefit Outweighs the Risk
While there are some small risks involved with taking antibiotics while pregnant, your health care provider will be able to balance the benefit against the risk for your individual situation. They will recommend an antibiotic when the present infection is not being overcome by the body’s own immune response, and when continued infection is causing significant discomfort to you and a potential danger to your baby if left untreated.
All Antibiotics are Not Created Equal
As well as being sure to only prescribe antibiotics when they are needed, doctors are well aware of the types of antibiotics that are suitable for pregnant women to take. Some of the most common are amoxicillin, clindamycin, and penicillin.
Timing is Everything
There are also certain guidelines in place about when during pregnancy it is more or less dangerous to take different types of antibiotics. It is generally considered safe to take a wider range of medications after the first trimester. One exception is the sulfa antibiotics, which are connected to jaundice, so not used in later pregnancy, but are considered safe for early pregnancy. Make sure your doctor knows how far along you are, and they will be able to explain their choice of antibiotics to you.
Taking a course of antibiotics during pregnancy can be safe, and is quite common. As always, ask your doctor for the best individual advice, and seek a second opinion if you are not satisfied with your level of care.