A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) linked the use of paracetamol for pain relief during pregnancy to the development of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and ADHD-like conditions. More and more families are looking to safer, drug-free alternatives like Chiropractors for pain relief and improved health outcomes for expectant mums and their developing babies.

Risks associated with medications are amplified during pregnancy, so experts are advising pregnant mothers to look for drug-free ways to deal with pain. In South Africa, doctors of Chiropractic receive a minimum of five years of education to clinically evaluate people and provide gentle, hands-on care. Vitalistic Chiropractors also include advise on nutrition, ergonomics and exercise — all fundamental contributors to a healthy pregnancy and lifestyle.

According to the report, children whose mothers used paracetamol were:

  • 13% more likely to show ADHD-like behaviours
  • 37% more likely to be diagnosed with HKDs (Hyperkinetic Disorder)
  • 29% more likely to be prescribed ADHD medications

The authors of the study note that paracetamol can cross the placenta and may affect the baby’s developing brain by causing nerve cell death or by affecting the mother’s metabolism causing hormone imbalances. Experts are also warning mothers not to turn to ibuprofen and other anti inflammatories as they may also cause similar problems.

In South Africa paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, is found in Panado, Calpol, Dolorol, Paramed, and Perfalgan.

Pregnant women’s bodies are under stress with weight gain and changes in posture that can lead to discomfort and pain. By correcting structural balance, Chiropractic can help with headaches, back pain, neck pain and the like. Research suggests that women under Chiropractic care also experience between 24-39% shorter labour times and fewer complications.

As more research shows the dangers associated with the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatories, particularly during pregnancy, it becomes clear that drugs should not be the first option. Safe, effective and natural options, like Chiropractic care, are a good first choice for better overall health through all stages of life, pregnancy included.

Read more on Chiropractic care during pregnancy here.

pregnancy, Safe Alternative to Paracetamol During Pregnancy, Peak Chiropractic


JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(4):313-320. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4914

Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic, 1991;24-31:39-42 Fallon, J. DC. Chiropractic and Pregnancy.