during pregnancy

If You Took Tylenol While Pregnant, You Can Add ADHD To Your Worry List

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shutterstock_145779146Do you know what I hate most about pregnancy? The immense, constant, unrelenting PRESSURE. If you don’t do it perfectly, if you make one tiny misstep even with the best of intentions, your baby is not going to develop properly or something even more terrible will happen, and it will be all your fault.

Trust me—I’ve slogged through pregnancy guilt with the best of them. It doesn’t help matters that studies are constantly being released that confirm the importance of your pregnancy decisions. On the one hand, it is critical to educate women on prenatal care and pregnancy risks. On the other hand, many women now see pregnancy as a field of landmines that is almost impossible to navigate without making a terrible, fatal mistake.

So, here’s the latest research to add to your pregnancy and postpartum worry list. Pregnant women that take Tylenol may have been misinformed about the safety of acetaminophen. A new study reports that:

Children of women who took the drug during pregnancy were about 40% more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than children of mothers who took none.

The probability of a child developing ADHD symptoms severe enough to require medication increased the most — by 63% — when his or her mother took acetaminophen during the last two trimesters of pregnancy, researchers found. It also rose by about 28% when acetaminophen was used in the third trimester alone. The added risk was smallest — about 9% — when a pregnant woman reported taking the drug only during her first trimester of pregnancy.

40% is a significant number, so this information is good to have. I personally did not take Tylenol while pregnant because I rarely ever take over-the-counter or prescription medication. However, I was not a pregnant saint. I did my research and chose to drink two glasses of wine a week while pregnant, after weighing the basically nonexistent risk—backed by research.

My point is this. No pregnant woman does everything by the book, least of all me. It’s great to have this information so that doctors may now advise pregnant women against taking Tylenol. However, pregnant women that have already taken the drug will likely be wracked with guilt. I personally am glad to be done with pregnancy for good because the pregnancy no-no list keeps getting longer every year.

(Image: Grekov’s/Shutterstock)