Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy
9 out of 10 women in the United States take a medication during pregnancy.
This figure shows 10 women, one of which is highlighted in gray, to show that 9 out of 10 women in the United States take a medication during pregnancy.
5.4 million pregnancies are exposed to medications each year.
This figure shows the silhouette of a pregnant woman with a word cloud coming from her mouth that reads, “Is this medication safe for me and my baby?”
Women and healthcare providers don’t have enough information to make informed decisions.
Fewer than 10% of medications have enough information to determine fetal risks.
Some women need to take medication during pregnancy.
This figure shows the silhouette of a doctor with a balance scale above his head to show that doctors have to weigh the potential for fetal risk caused by certain medications with a woman’s need to take medication during pregnancy.
How some medications can be harmful:
This figure shows 6 different images representing how some medications can be harmful when used in pregnancy. There is an image of a baby showing that certain medications can cause birth defects; an ultrasound image showing pregnancy loss; a hand holding a small baby representing prematurity; a heart with a voltage beat going across it representing infant death; three children’s blocks representing developmental disabilities; and a question mark representing unknown outcomes.
Birth defects and prematurity alone cost the U.S. $29 billion annually.
Learn more about CDC’s prescription for this problem. Treating for Two: A national strategy to improve the health of mothers and babies through safer medication use in pregnancy.
This figure shows 3 icons: a magnifying glass with two pill capsules in its lens representing better research; a checklist representing reliable guidance; and a light bulb representing informed decisions.
- Page last reviewed: April 30, 2018
- Page last updated: April 30, 2018
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