April 8, 2014 — Responding to a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, which found that the use of acetaminophen for pain relief during pregnancy may be associated with a higher risk for hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-like behaviors in children, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), points to low-risk, drug-free alternatives, such as chiropractic care, for pain relief and improved health of expectant mothers and their developing babies.
“Because risks associated with medications are magnified during pregnancy, experts are advising expectant mothers to look for non-pharmacological ways to deal with pain,” says Gerard Clum, DC, spokesperson, F4CP, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care. “Doctors of chiropractic receive a minimum of seven years of education to clinically evaluate patients and provide gentle, hands-on manual and instrument care, as well as nutrition, ergonomics and exercise advice — all fundamental contributors to a healthy pregnancy and lifestyle.”
According to the report, children whose mothers used acetaminophen were:
- 13 percent more likely to show ADHD-like behaviors
- 37 percent more likely to be diagnosed with HKDs
- 29 percent more likely to be prescribed ADHD medications
In a subsequent article in USA Today, experts also advised against substituting the use of acetaminophen with ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), as they may disrupt fetal development and cause further problems.
“Added stress to the body, weight gain and postural changes often cause relentless discomfort for expectant mothers,” says Clum. “Conservative options, such as chiropractic, can improve structural balance and help with conditions such as headaches, neck and back pain — all too common during pregnancy.”
The F4CP calls upon providers and patients to consider drug-free treatment approaches.
“As evidence continues to expose the dangers connected to the use of acetaminophen and other NSAIDS, especially during pregnancy, it becomes evident that pharmaceuticals should not be a primary option,” concludes Clum. “Natural approaches — such as chiropractic care — should be the first choice for achieving better health throughout all stages of life, including pregnancy.”