By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – There is one pain medication that most doctors tell women they can safely take during pregnancy, namely acetaminophen or Tylenol, which is welcome relief to many expectant moms because other common pain killers, like aspirin and ibuprofen, can be harmful.

But now there’s evidence that taking Tylenol during pregnancy or giving it to young infants could increase a child’s risk of developing asthma by age 3.

The concern is not enough to suggest women avoid taking Tylenol during pregnancy or avoid giving it to babies, but this study is a good reminder to only use medications, including Tylenol, when necessary.

On the other hand, here is something you can indulge in while pregnancy. Well, maybe not indulge, but enjoy in moderation.

New research suggests that eating 30 grams a day of chocolate, that’s about 2/3 of a chocolate bar, could increase blood flow to the placenta and benefit the growth and development of the baby, especially in women at risk for preeclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy.

And if you don’t like dark chocolate, it doesn’t matter. The benefits were seen with both dark chocolate, which contains more flavonoids or antioxidants, as well as chocolate with fewer antioxidants.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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