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What should you know about taking baby aspirin during pregnancy?

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Taking baby aspirin during pregnancy is recommended for women who are at high risk of developing preeclampsia, a condition in which blood pressure rises and excess protein appears in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy, according to WebMD. These women should take low-dose aspirin daily starting at the end of the first trimester of pregnancy.

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WebMD explains that preeclampsia causes stroke or life-threatening organ damage in the expectant mother, and the developing fetus receives insufficient amounts of oxygen and nutrients. This leads to low birth weight, preterm birth or stillbirth. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force states that taking 81 milligrams of aspirin, the amount in a baby aspirin, on a daily basis in middle and late pregnancy greatly reduces the chance that preeclampsia occurs.

BabyCenter warns that aspirin is not recommended for most pregnant women. Taking regular adult aspirin around the time of conception and during early pregnancy is linked to an increase in miscarriage. Taking full-dose aspirin in later pregnancy has a negative impact of the growth of the fetus and causes placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta becomes detached from the uterus prior to the birth of the baby. Heart and lung problems in the baby and bleeding issues for both the mother and baby also occur, and full-dose aspirin delays labor. A pregnant woman needs to discuss with her doctor whether or not taking baby aspirin during her pregnancy is appropriate.

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