Can you imagine smoking cigarettes while pregnant? While it would seem controversial today, some women of prior generations engaged in many behaviors that are now widely believed to be harmful for mom, baby or both during pregnancy, according to a new “Health Below the Bump” survey commissioned by MONISTAT®. The survey found the “rules” of pregnancy have changed dramatically over time, which leaves soon-to-be moms having to decode the latest news and advice to determine how to best manage their health.
The national survey of 2,000 American women who have been or are currently pregnant found that 84 percent doubted the health choices they made during pregnancy, despite many making modifications such as changing what they ate (49 percent), what household cleaning supplies they used (27 percent) and which skin care products they used (22 percent). Doubts likely stemmed from the plethora of information available and advice constantly shifting. In fact, more than one third (36 percent) of respondents feel that there’s an overabundance of information shared during pregnancy.
Yeast Infections and Risks
One health decision that many pregnant women had to face was how to treat a yeast infection, which is as much as 10 times more likely to occur during pregnancy. Shockingly, the survey revealed that 54 percent of women were not aware that there was a potential health risk when taking the leading prescription pill (fluconazole) to treat yeast infections during pregnancy and nearly half of these women actually took the pill to treat their yeast infections while pregnant. According to 2019 Canadian study*, women who take any dose of fluconazole during pregnancy are at an increased risk of miscarriage and there may be a link between high levels of fluconazole and increased risk of heart defects in the fetus in the first trimester.
“With the concerns associated with fluconazole during pregnancy, I recommend MONISTAT® 7 Day for vaginal yeast infections in pregnant women,” says Dr. Alyssa Dweck, an OB-GYN, author, women’s health expert and MONISTAT® spokeswoman. “Seven-day topical treatments are the CDC’s only recommended form of yeast infection treatment in pregnant women, and MONISTAT® relieves symptoms four times faster than the prescription oral pill. If you are pregnant, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to using any medication.”
Differing Advice Through the Ages
With so much to worry about during pregnancy, it is not surprising that women are concerned about the choices that they have to make about their health. More than 25 percent admitted that they received differing advice from other women and 38 percent noted that the information provided by their doctors was significantly different from what their mothers were told when pregnant. Moreover, the study found that women are also more open to taking advice from strangers, with over 66 percent of women aged 18-24 getting information from online pregnancy forums.
“With new advancements in medical research each year, health guidelines for pregnancy are often changing and that can lead to confusion for mom, especially when decades of great moms before her likely weren’t privy to the latest guidance,” says, Dr. Dweck. “Of course, there are core guidelines that have stood the test of decades, but as the years progress, there are discernible generational shifts in pregnancy practices given the new information available.”
While doubt and confusion are often present during pregnancy, women should seek comfort in knowing there are knowledgeable experts and trusted products that can aid them in a safe and healthy pregnancy.