I was told to take aspirin during my pregnancy to prevent a serious condition – but my pharmacy refused to serve me

Over the shoulder view of young woman browsing through medical products and reading the label on a bottle of medicine in front of the shelves in a pharmacy

Our baby has a singular umbilical vessel (Picture: Getty Images)

My cheeks burned as I looked at the man.

‘I can’t buy aspirin?’ I asked, hardly understanding what I’d just been told. ‘Why not?’

‘It’s for the safety of your baby,’ he said, pointing to my baby bump. What? Did they think I was going to overdose on the medication to purposefully hurt myself – or us both?

I attempted to explain that I had been advised to take aspirin by my maternity team, but again, I was told about the potential harm I could cause myself and my baby.

Humiliated, I could feel my eyes stinging with tears and so, instead of staying and arguing my point, I fled outside to where my partner was waiting for me.

We went into the nearest Costa Coffee where I just broke down. I was so upset and embarrassed about the whole situation – but that quickly turned to anger.

You see, not only did I have the legal right to make my own decisions and buy whatever I wanted, pregnant or not, but I was actually buying the aspirin on medical advice.

Our official NHS scan at 12 weeks was the first time our baby was looked at medically: it’s usually the earliest point any anomalies are picked up. Overall, my health during pregnancy had been good but I was nervous: you never knew what could be happening inside.

Although our scan went well, my partner and I were told about a small, potential issue.

Our baby has a singular umbilical vessel. This means there is only one blood vessel travelling from baby to the placenta through the umbilical cord, instead of two. A lot of the time, this isn’t a huge issue but it can increase risk of restricted foetal growth.

At that point in time, our hospital wasn’t overly worried about the single umbilical vessel impacting our baby’s growth. But they were worried it could increase the risk of me developing pre-eclampsia — a condition that can cause severe headaches, vision problems and vomiting during the second half of a pregnancy.

That was a pretty scary conversation.

Although most cases of pre-eclampsia are mild, it can lead to serious complications for the pregnant person and baby if it isn’t monitored.

This is when I was advised to start taking low-dose (150mg) of aspirin per day until my 36th week of pregnancy. Apparently taking low levels of aspirin daily regulates your blood pressure and can assist with the development of your placenta.

There is so much stigma surrounding what pregnant people can and cannot do

I went into my nearest Boots store a few days later and purchased 75mg dispersible aspirin tablets over the counter. I wasn’t asked about any possibility of being pregnant, just whether I was taking any other medication – which I wasn’t.

That’s why I was even more surprised when I visited the same store again when I was 19 weeks pregnant and …read more

Source:: Metro


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