Acetaminophen During Pregnancy Can Lead to Speech Delay in Baby Girls

Acetaminophen During Pregnancy Can Lead to Speech Delay in Baby Girls

Baby girls born to mothers who consumed acetaminophen (active ingredient in Paracetamol) during their pregnancy experienced language and speech delay.

There are many medications that are perfectly safe to consume before pregnancy. But during pregnancy, these seemingly harmless drugs can be dangerous for your baby. In fact, some drugs, like paracetamol (also branded as Tylenol), can even lead to a speech delay in baby girls. 

Yes, you read that right. A study published in the European Psychiatry’s journal made some shocking revelations about this popular pain reliever.

A link between paracetamol and speech delay in girls

According to the research, baby girls born to mothers who consumed acetaminophen (active ingredient in paracetamol) during their pregnancy experienced language and speech delays. 

Incidentally, the study found that consumption of acetaminophen during pregnancy did not harm baby boys. 

The data was provided by the the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal, Mother and Child, Asthma and Allergy study (SELMA). 

Almost 800 expecting Swedish mothers took part in this study. In order to confirm the results, the researchers used the mothers’ urine samples to detect the presence of acetaminophen in their bodies.

Their now two-and-a-half-year-old daughters also participated in a study to identify any delays in development. 

These are the numbers they found:

  • About 59 percent of the expecting mums used acetaminophen.
  • About 10 percent of kids faced delayed speech and language problems, more so in girls as compared to boys. 
  • Girls born to mums to who took acetaminophen almost six times in early pregnancy faced six times the delay in their speech and language development. This particular statistic is in comparison to girls born to mothers who did not take acetaminophen at all during pregnancy.
speech delay

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Other reasons you must avoid acetaminophen during pregnancy 

The researchers found it peculiar that the medication resulted in speech delay in girls more than boys. But they shared that it could be because girls reportedly have a “well-recognized female advantage” in that they develop speech and language faster than boys. 

The study’s senior author Shanna Swan, PhD, Professor of Environmental and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, explained why expecting mums must avoid acetaminophen.

“Given the prevalence of prenatal acetaminophen use and the importance of language development, our findings, if replicated, suggest that pregnant women should limit their use of this analgesic during pregnancy,” she told Science Daily

She added, “It’s important for us to look at language development because it has shown to be predictive of other neurodevelopmental problems in children.”

As mentioned in our previous article, it is best that expecting mums avoid reaching for over-the-counter medications. And include paracetamol in their list of medications to stay away from. To relieve pain, you can instead opt for more natural home remedies. 

How to relieve pain naturally 

Headaches are common during pregnancy. A change in hormones, fluctuating blood sugar levels, stress and sometimes lack of sleep can cause unbearable aches. 

The good news is that you do not have to rely purely on medication to relieve yourself from pregnancy pains, especially headaches. You can use some natural ways to do the same. 

  • Go to a quiet place, sit and take deep breaths. Dim the lights if you can. The best solution is to sleep it off. 
  • Try to keep your sugar levels high and consume sugar-based products if you often find your blood sugar levels to be low.
  • Keep yourself well-hydrated. Drink at least 10 glasses of water during the day, if not more.
  • Enroll in prenatal yoga classes. They not only help keep you in shape, but also relax your mind, body and soul.
  • Check with your doctor before taking any medication, even if the dose is small.

Remember that a few precautions can help you breeze through your pregnancy and give you a happy and healthy baby.  

Sources: Popsugar, Science Daily

Also read: 5 Everyday products that your SHOULD NOT use during pregnancy

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Written by

Deepshikha Punj

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