Low dose aspirin during pregnancy: What you need to know

Low Dose Big Benefits

Even 11-time Olympic medalist and brand ambassador Allyson Felix isn't immune to the maternal health crisis in America

Allyson Felix and March of Dimes are raising awareness about the importance of asking your doctor about low dose aspirin to reduce the risk of preeclampsia. The more you know, and ask, the better the chance your story can be different than Allyson's.

Mom, Olympian, and advocate, Allyson Felix, on preeclampsia and low dose aspirin.

What you need to know about low dose aspirin 

During pregnancy, your healthcare provider may have you take low dose aspirin (also called baby aspirin or 81-mg aspirin) to reduce the risk of preeclampsia. It’s a serious condition when you have high blood pressure and some of your organs, like kidneys and liver, may not work properly. Download this checklist to better assess your risk for preeclampsia and discuss with your healthcare provider.

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Frequently Asked Questions about low dose aspirin during pregnancy

Preeclampsia is when you have high blood pressure and some of your organs, like your kidneys and liver, may not be working properly. It’s something to keep an eye on because it can cause serious problems for you and your baby, including preterm birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy).

Taking a low dose of aspirin (81mgs of aspirin, often called “baby aspirin”) might lower the chances of preeclampsia and the potential harm it can cause to both mom and baby. Because of this benefit, healthcare providers and medical groups recommend pregnant women at risk for preeclampsia to take low dose aspirin during pregnancy.

Doctors sometimes recommend low dose aspirin for pregnant people if they have a higher chance of developing preeclampsia or other complications. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, or an autoimmune disease, taking low dose aspirin might be helpful. Certain stressors in your life, like having low income, no access to health care, and experiencing racism, can increase your risk for preeclampsia. Talk to your provider if you have any of these stressors and ask if low dose aspirin is right for you.

Low dose aspirin improves blood flow to the uterus and may ensure that your baby gets enough oxygen and blood flow through the placenta.

Low dose aspirin is generally safe for most pregnant people. Your prenatal care provider can talk to you about the benefits and risks and can monitor you closely throughout your pregnancy.

Remember: Always follow your providers’ instructions for the use of low dose aspirin. If you’re advised to take low dose aspirin, the amount that is usually recommended is 81mg daily. You should start taking it between 12 weeks and 28 weeks of pregnancy (ideally before 16 weeks) and continued each day until you deliver your baby. That’s about 3 and a half months until childbirth. It’s important to take it every day. Before you start taking low dose aspirin, talk to your provider.

 

Three things to keep in mind

  • If you’re prescribed low dose aspirin, keep taking it until your care provider tells you it’s safe to stop.
  • Be sure to go to all your prenatal checkups and follow your prenatal care provider’s recommendations for a healthy pregnancy.
  • Always talk to your prenatal care provider for safe pain management options during pregnancy.

 

Disclaimer: This information is intended for general knowledge and should not be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your health care provider before taking any medication during pregnancy.

 

References

US Preventive Services Task Force. Aspirin Use to Prevent Preeclampsia and Related Morbidity and Mortality: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2021;326(12):1186–1191. doi:10.1001/ jama.2021.14781 

Mother To Baby | Fact Sheets [Internet]. Brentwood (TN): Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS); 1994-. Low Dose Aspirin. 2022 Apr. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK582805/ https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/practice-advisory/articles/2021/12/low dose-aspirin-use-for-the-prevention-of-preeclampsia-and-related-morbidity-and-mortality 

https://www.preeclampsia.org/aspirin

 

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