1) I have just iearned that I am pregnant for the first time, and I am very anxious that nothing should go wrong. I keep hearing about women who have done something during their pregnancy that has caused a deformity. What drugs and medicines should I avoid in pregnancy?
First off, congratulations! That said, the best thing you can do for both of you is to stay healthy. That means, eat healthy foods (not too much junk), get regular exercise, get an adequate amount of sleep and try not to be too stressed. Listen to your OB and follow their advice. It would be best if you didn’t take any medications at all, however, if you have a chronic health problem that requires regular medication (like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease); DON’T stop your medications without consulting with your OB. As to over the counter medications, there are a few that are safe, within reason. These are Tylenol, Benadryl and plain Robitussin. Do not taking anything else without speaking to your OB. Lastly, let me mention that even if the pregnancy and delivery go perfectly, sometimes things beyond our control can happen and the baby could have a deformity. This is not a reflection on you as a “bad” mom, if you did the best that you could to insure a healthy baby, it is just one of those things…
2) My ears are ringing all the time, and when I get nervous or tense they get worse. How can I help this?
You need to have your ears and hearing evaluated by your physician. You might need to speak with a specialist (ENT) for further evaluation to see if there is an explaination for your symptoms. Some people have a condition known as Tinnitus, which simply means they have a ringing in their ears with no explaination. Sometimes medications help to reduce anxiety, sometimes hearing aids help these people and sometimes behavior modification helps (it doesn’t stop the ringing but you learn to live with it).