It’s time to break the silence around pregnancy and medicine.
Having a disease shouldn’t mean you can’t have a child. And being pregnant shouldn’t prevent you from getting treatment.
About the Pregnancy & Medicine Initiative
The Pregnancy & Medicine Initiative is a sub programme of The Motherhood Collective Impact Programme that aims to raise awareness and help address the information vacuum concerning the use of medicines and medical treatment in pregnancy.
We serve as an enabler, by connecting individuals, groups, and initiatives across the field of healthcare, we aim to bring this issue to the top of the healthcare agenda and facilitate the conversation around:
To achieve this, we need to:
Break the Silence: Start a conversation with future parents and healthcare professionals about pregnancy and medication.
Collect the data: Help collect and share the experiences of pregnant women and healthcare professionals on one platform that is open to all.
Collaborate to find new solutions: Connect people who share a passion for changing the way decisions are made about pregnancy, treatment, and medication.
Medicines and pregnancy:
the problem, the status & the way forward
Medical care during pregnancy is lacking proper data and approximately 90% of pregnant women take medicine without knowing the consequences. A lack of data and research in this field means that both clinicians and patients do not have the tools or the specialist knowledge to make informed decisions when it comes to taking medication during pregnancy. To really shift medical thinking and address our concerns as healthcare professionals, a collaboration between all stakeholders – from clinicians to patients – is key.
The Way Forward
There is a positive way to move forward and resolve this global public health concern. A cross-stakeholder consortium is needed to address the gaps in communication and engagement and to facilitate the generation and collection of data. Consortium stakeholders must focus on research standards and new awareness initiatives as well as the development of alternative methods for capturing data. A neutral platform will bring everyone together, from patients and healthcare providers to the researchers and regulators who develop needed medicines.
Numerous initiatives conducted to develop standards and collect data have not provided the all-important risk-benefit information for prescribing medication during pregnancy. The barriers we currently face are limited awareness and insufficient training in the field. In addition, we are facing methodological issues in the acquisition of useable data, including a lack of standardization and central data collection.
The decision to have a child isn’t always an easy one and can be even harder if there is a disease or illness involved. Despite the major advances in medical science, pregnant women still don’t know whether it’s safe to take their medicines and their doctors are often in the dark too.
Currently, information on pregnancy and medicine is not easily available. So, very often the choices are to either stop taking medicine, to take medicine and live with the uncertainty, or to avoid pregnancy altogether.
What are the options for women with a disease who fall pregnant? What are the prospects for those with cancer, diabetes, heart disease or other diseases who want to have children? And what about those who get sick while pregnant?
This problem has grown from the understandable lack of research and from the “zero risk” approach to medical research and practice. This approach has caused an information void, leaving potential future parents to make an impossible choice: Should a woman with cancer or rheumatoid arthritis take medication without knowing how it might impact her child? Or should she forego treatment during pregnancy, perhaps endangering her own health as well as the health of her child?
Faced with this impossible decision, many choose to renounce having children, or in many cases, are advised not to have children.
Future mothers should have the right to benefit from the progress of science. They should also have the right to access appropriate medical care and accurate, evidence-based information to make an informed decision.
Our goal is to support those who seek more information and want a second, informed, opinion. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make a difference.
3 rights of pregnant women
Advocate the 3 rights of pregnant women
We believe that medical care during pregnancy needs better data. By working together to shift medical thinking, we can ensure that mothers-to-be can have three basic rights:
Access to appropriate medical care.
Knowledge to make informed decisions with accurate, evidence-based information.
Benefit from the progress of science and the latest advances in medicine.
Let’s make sure that more pregnant women and their doctors can make informed choices when it comes to treatment and medication.