If you must treat an acute ailment, these products are presumed safe in pregnancy though no drug can be fully tested for use in pregnancy. You and your baby may have considerations that are not addressed by these general presumptions.  Don't take more than the recommended dose and, if possible, avoid taking anything prior to 12 weeks or after 32 weeks when your developing baby and your body are most vulnerable. If you have a question about the safety of any medication during pregnancy, call the pregnancy risk-line at 1-888-285-3410. Throughout this guide we have many suggestions for the natural treatment of common complaints.  We suggest that you try these first and leave medications as a last resort.

OTC medications considered safe in pregnancy (some with time limits).

Heartburn, Gas, Upset Stomach:

Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums, Gas-X, Maalox Anti-gas, Pepcid (famotidine), Zantac

Cough or Cold:

Hytuss, Robitussin, Vicks 44 Cough Relief, Cough drops, Vicks VapoRub, Cepastat lozenges or throat spray, Delsym (dextromethrorphan),  cough/throat lozenge


Chlortrimetron after 12 weeks, Sedated after 12 weeks, Novahistine after 12 weeks, Advil Cold and Sinus after 12 weeks and before 32 weeks, Claritin (loratadine) after 12 weeks, Zyrtec, after 12 weeks, Mucinex D after 12 weeks.


Vicks VapoRub, Any of the above antihistamines, Saline nasal spray, Afrin (oxymetazoline)

Pain relief, headache, and fever:

Acetaminophen (Anacin Aspirin-Free, Tylenol). Ibuprofen (Advil) can be taken up to the 32nd week of pregnancy

Allergy relief:

Chlor-Trimeton allergy tablets, Alavert, Claritin, Tavist ND, Triaminic Allerchews, Nasalcrom, Tylenol Cold and Sinus after 12 weeks.

Constipation, hemorrhoids, diarrhea:

Citrucel, Unifiber, Milk of Magnesia, Hemorrhoid creams (Anusol, Preparation H, Tucks) Immodium, Kaopectate II, Maalox Anti-Diarrheal

First-aid preparations:

Hydrocortisone (Cortaid, Lanacort), Polysporin

Nausea, vomiting:

Dramamine 50 mg 4x per day, Antivert 25mg 3x per day, Vistaril 25-50- mg 4x per day, Benadryl 25 mg 3 times per day

Herbs During Pregnancy

Many herbs are known to be useful during pregnancy; they can be very powerful and healing.  For some maladies they can be used instead of pharmaceuticals. For these reasons they should be used with caution during the time of childbearing. Unless you are well experienced in the use of herbs, please consult with an appropriate care provider before using any but the most gentle of plant medicines.

The following herbs are found to be most gentle, safe, and useful during pregnancy; 

Alfalfa: plant containing a good source of vitamin K (necessary for blood clotting). This herb also contains enzymes, minerals, and high quantities of vitamins A, D, and E. 

Dandelion: High in vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, potassium, and many trace elements.

Ginger: Useful in treating nausea and vomiting.

Nettles: Contains high levels of calcium, iron, and is helpful in providing nourishment to the mother. 

Oatstraw: herb that is high in calcium and magnesium, effective remedy for infections and to decrease stress/tension. 

Red Raspberry Leaf: (after 16 weeks) Rich in iron that has also been effective in helping the production of milk, decreasing nausea, preventing miscarriage, and easing labor pains. 

Rose Hips: Great source of vitamin C that also helps with infection and exhaustion.

Spearmint: For nausea, digestion, oily skin/acne and mental fatigue.

Please see “Easing Pregnancy Discomforts” for more information