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Study Links Tylenol Use During Pregnancy to ADHD in Kids

4734845318_ac8d67b142Throughout each of my pregnancies, I’ve always tried to do my best to steer clear or taking any sort of medications. Other than my Zofran, which I had to take in order to keep healthy and stay out of the hospital, I dealt with the aches and pains that come with pregnancy without medication. Even when I had kidney stones when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, I tried to stay away from any sort of pain reliever as much as possible.

Although I wanted to stay away from medication for personal reasons, my doctor assured me that there were many medications on the market that were completely safe for me to take and safe for my baby. One of those medications she gave me the green light for was Tylenol. But according to a new study, Tylenol might not be as safe during pregnancy as was once thought.

New research indicates that women who took Tylenol (or any drug with acetaminophen) during pregnancy had children who were 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than women who didn’t use the drug while pregnant. The risks are greater when you take the drug during the second and third trimesters.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, looked at more than 64,000 mothers in Denmark who gave birth between 1996 and 2002. While the research links the use of acetaminophen and ADHD, it does not directly state that taking the drug causes ADHD in children.

“This highlights the point that the lowest exposure is always the best, for any agent,” UCLA obstetrician Dr. Daniel Kahn, a maternal-fetal health specialist who was not involved in the study, told the Los Angeles Times. His suggestion is to “use as little as possible to meet your needs, and if you’re having unmet needs beyond that, we need to talk about it.”

While the study does not directly show a cause and effect relationship, it does make me think twice about what we put into our bodies while pregnant. There are so many medications deemed safe for so long that new research suddenly suggests otherwise. Can’t we stand a few minutes of pain for the health and safety of our unborn child?

More from Lauren on Babble:

Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram!

Image via Flickr User Shardayyy

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