Pill Popping in Pregnancy: Necessary Evil or Green Mom Copout?

I’ve talked before about how I sometimes feel like a hypocrite for being so reliant on conventional medications while I am promoting a natural, low-chemical lifestyle. But never have I felt like more of an organic failure than during this pregnancy.

This pregnancy has been a whirlwind of illnesses, ailments and injuries, and unfortunately I have had to turn to much more conventional medication than I’d like. Like last pregnancy, I have accepted my daily dose of Zoloft, Advair and Claritin D, understanding that in these cases the benefit outweighs the risks. But this time around there is a huge dose of stuff piled on top of that.

Over the past seven months I have suffered from chronic nausea, severe allergies, outrageous sinus and ear infections, heartburn, reccurring cold viruses and a serious bone contusion in my foot. This has led me to taking daily doses of Zofran, heartburn medication, three rounds of antibiotics and various painkillers, nasal sprays, ear drops and inhalers. While most of these medications are considered safe for pregnancy (category B), several are deemed questionable (category C). And the thing that freaks me out the most is that, much like everyday chemicals, the real question is how will all of these medications interact with each other over time. And is there any way my baby will not have horns?

I have tried many homeopathic and natural remedies. But apple cider vinegar does nothing for my heartburn and I think it may have been overdoing the Neti Pot that gave me this ear infection in the first place. I know that without using any of these medications I would be a complete mess and my health would certainly suffer. But would it have been better to suffer bravely through the months than to take all these risks?

God forbid I use the wrong shampoo, but I will allow any kind of chemical cocktail to alleviate my headaches. I demise over the dearth of organic grapes while taking my third round of antibiotics in as many months. Are my priorities completely out of order? Or I am I just being aware of the chemical intake I can control versus the necessary evils I can not avoid?

Paige Wolf is a Philadelphia mom and author of Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent's Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt. This post is adapted from her blog, Spit That Out! 

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