UK health authorities are recommending that pregnant women at risk for high blood pressure-related complications take small doses of aspirin starting at 12 weeks.
High blood pressure in pregnancy can lead to pre-eclampsia as well as premature and/or low birth weight babies.
Aspirin is not routinely given to pregnant women—some research shows it can increase the chances for miscarriage early in pregnancy and cause problems with blood flow and/or the placenta later in pregnancy.
But research has also shown that low doses of aspirin can help prevent preeclampsia for pregnant women at risk. Now the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is making a more official recommendation regarding it’s use in pregnancy.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr. Margaret Macdonald, chief executive of the charity Action on Pre-eclampsia, said “Pregnant women hate to take anything during pregnancy. This guidance is reassurance that it is OK to take aspirin for high blood pressure if you need to. Also, the guidance makes sure that GPs, consultants and midwives everywhere are doing this.”
The exact cause of pre-eclampsia is unknown. Recently researchers announced that vitamin D may play a role. As always, do not take any medication when pregnant without talking to your doctor or midwife.