Will It Hurt the Baby?: The Safe Use of Medications during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding by Richard S. Abrams, M.D.

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Stars: ****1/2

This book is a great resource for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. If you’ve ever wondered what medicines are safe to take during pregnancy or nursing and wanted more than just a “Yes it’s safe” or “No it’s not safe” answer, this is the book for you.

The first thing the book explains is how drugs are tested for safety and the different types of birth defects and other causes of them besides medication.

Then medical conditions are discussed such as Asthma, Heart Problems, AIDS, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Arthritis, Infections and others in regards to how they will affect pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The next chapters cover environmental and occupational hazards during pregnancy. This was the first time I’d seen information on these subjects. Hazards covered include: Air Pollution, Food Additives and Contaminants, Hyperthermia, Hospital and Health Care related hazards, Solvents and Cleaners, Heavy Metals, Pesticides, Physical Exertion, Radiation and Ultrasound.

Finally, the bulk of the book is dedicated to drug information. Each drug is listed by it’s Generic name and also includes common brands, the type of drug (antibiotic, antihistamine etc..), FDA risk category, general information(drugs common use), possible side effects, use during pregnancy, use during breastfeeding and alternatives to medication. Illicit drugs and caffeine and cigarettes are also listed.

My only complaint is that this book is American and as such, for the most part, I had not heard of the common brands. For example Acetaminophen listed Anacin-3, Bromo Seltzer, Datril, Liquiprin, Panadol, Phenaphen, Tempra, Tylenol and Valorin. We have only Tempra and Tylenol here in Canada out of that list.

However, the extent of the information in this book is amazing. and I highly recommend it to all pregnant and breastfeeding moms as well as doctors. You may be surprised to know that many doctors don’t know the latest on drug safety for breastfeeding moms.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.