Any minute now we would hear the reassuring thud, thud, thud.’ This time, Magdalen thought she knew the cause.Her sister Nyree had just had a baby, and during her pregnancy she’d developed a terrible itch that was diagnosed as intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) — a liver disorder doctors said could kill her baby if it went untreated.Previous studies have found that female rats and mice exposed to paracetamol in the womb have fewer eggs, smaller ovaries and go on to have fewer babies.
The painkiller may even have lasting effects on their granddaughters’ fertility.
New parents should educate themselves and seek out resources on appropriate care and safety techniques such as rear-facing, properly installed car seats, laying a baby on his or her back to sleep, taking time to just play with baby, and breastfeeding. Mental health is about realizing our potential, coping with the normal stresses of life, and making a contribution to our community.
Pregnant women are prone to dental problems because elevated hormone levels cause gums to swell, bleed, and trap food.
In pregnancy, ICP is diagnosed when the mother’s bile acid level is more than 14μmol/L, and the risk of stillbirth goes up when they rise to more than 40μmol/L.
Some studies suggest gallstones are more common in women with the condition, and a Swedish study published this year in the Journal of Hepatology found that women with ICP are also more likely to have diabetes in pregnancy.
Professor Richard Sharpe, one of the researchers from the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, said: ‘This study identifies a potential risk from taking paracetamol or ibuprofen, although we don’t know exactly what effect it would have on human health nor what dose would be needed to harm fertility.’He said the evidence that analgesic drugs interfere with production of sperm and egg cells is growing, adding: ‘We know the majority of women take analgesics in pregnancy for symptoms such as colds, headaches and fever.‘There is a temptation, when paracetamol is there in the cupboard, to take it at the slightest sign of an ache or pain.’He said the NHS advises pregnant women to take the lowest dose of paracetamol for the shortest possible time.