Antibiotics During Pregnancy – What You Need To Know About Amoxicillin & Co

Surely you want nothing more than a healthy and complication-free pregnancy. Despite all the precautions, however, infections can still occur during these exciting nine months and can only be treated with antibiotics.

After all, your immune system is slightly weakened by pregnancy, which makes the occurrence of infections more likely. Whether you get a stubborn sinus infection, a bladder infection, or another infection, antibiotics are sometimes necessary during pregnancy.

Here you can find out when it is advisable to take Amoxicillin 1000, or Amoxi 1000 and other antibiotics, and what to watch out for during pregnancy.

When Are Antibiotics Necessary During Pregnancy?

You feel listless or have specific symptoms that are not due to pregnancy? During pregnancy it is even more important than usual to distinguish between viral infections and bacterial infections.

Even if you are expecting a baby, there is hardly any effective medication that you can use to get rid of a troublesome viral infection, such as a normal cold. The situation is different with bacterial infections. These also cause unpleasant symptoms very quickly, which can range from malaise to high fever.

In general, antibiotics are also the drug of choice during pregnancy to combat a bacterial infection quickly and comprehensively. Unlike against viral infections, your body cannot produce antibodies to a similar extent against bacteria.

If not treated, the infection has the opportunity to spread more or less unhindered and even harm your baby. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to visit your family doctor or gynecologist if you notice any symptoms of illness during your pregnancy.

By the way, most of the bacteria that cause infections come from your own body flora. In most cases, these are pathogens that colonize your skin or intestines anyway and are actually harmless.

However, if your immune system is weakened, as is the case during pregnancy, they can colonize the wrong places and cause unpleasant illnesses there. However, initial bacterial infections are particularly dangerous during pregnancy.

Which Infections Require Antibiotics During Pregnancy?

Since your immune system is not as strong as usual during pregnancy, infectious diseases have an easy time. Urinary tract infections are particularly common during pregnancy, as are vaginal infections.

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The increased susceptibility to bacterial infections of the urogenital area is caused by the changed pH value of the mucous membranes during pregnancy. This shifts more easily into the alkaline range and makes it much easier for bacteria to survive and multiply there.

Respiratory infections are also common during pregnancy. These range from sinusitis to bronchitis. Antibiotics can also be used against B streptococci, which are often problematic during pregnancy.

However, listeria, which usually originates from contaminated food, can also be dangerous for the unborn child and should be treated immediately with antibiotics. In the case of bacterial infections during pregnancy, a distinction must be made between pathogens that spread through the blood in the body and those bacteria that rise through the cervix and can cause problems in the immediate vicinity of the unborn child.

What causes uncomfortable symptoms outside of pregnancy is even more uncomfortable with a baby on board. If infections remain untreated, this weakens your general condition and makes pregnancy much more stressful for you.

On the other hand, some bacterial infections can trigger further problems that can even endanger your baby. If antibiotics are given in time during pregnancy in case of an infection, the risk of infection for your baby is minimized.

Antibiotics In Pregnancy Against Premature Labor?

Can antibiotics be used against preterm labor? In principle, yes, but only if a bacterial infection is behind the premature contractions. Especially in the case of infections of the urogenital tract, premature labor may occur.

In that case, not only must the progression of labor be prevented, but the cause must be addressed as soon as possible. Antibiotics eliminate the infection, as a result, premature labor decreases and lower the risk of premature birth.

What Antibiotics Are Used During Pregnancy?

Of course, you want to avoid medications to the absolute minimum during pregnancy so as not to expose your baby to harmful chemicals. Despite all the appropriate skepticism, it is important to carefully weigh up the risks and benefits during pregnancy.

However, to avoid serious consequences for your baby and yourself, in some situations it is unavoidable to fight the underlying disease with antibiotics. Antibiotics of the beta-lactam group are the drugs of choice in this case.

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These have been particularly well studied for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Penicillins and cephalosporins belong to this group.

How Do Antibiotics Affect Your Unborn Baby?

In fact, knowledge about the mode of action of antibiotics during pregnancies comes from individual observations and epidemiological studies. For ethical reasons, targeted studies on pregnant women are obviously not an option. What is certain, however, are the following observations. During pregnancy, you share a bloodstream with your unborn child.

Some harmful substances and pathogens can cross the placental barrier. But antibiotics such as Amoxicillin 1000 also pass to your baby and into the amniotic fluid. If the infection has already spread so far, the antibiotic can also fight it directly in your baby.

Be Careful With Antibiotics In The First Weeks Of Pregnancy

No two weeks of pregnancy are the same because the main areas of development change during your pregnancy. Special care should be taken when giving antibiotics during pregnancy, especially in the first few weeks or throughout the first trimester.

This is mainly due to the developmental focus of the embryo during this time. In the first weeks from the implantation of the fertilized egg until about the eleventh week of pregnancy, the embryo forms internal and external organs. During this phase of pregnancy, there is an increased sensitivity to harmful substances that can affect the embryo from the outside.

If unsuitable medications or other substances are consumed during this phase, severe malformations and organ damage can occur in the embryo. Drugs that can cross the placental barrier have a particularly high potential to cause damage to the embryo.

This also applies to antibiotics. Even small amounts of antibiotics can disrupt development and cause permanent damage during this extremely sensitive phase. If you are not yet sure whether you are pregnant, you should bring this up at your doctor’s visit before you start taking antibiotics.

However, even in the first trimester of pregnancy, a harm-benefit assessment is essential for antibiotic use. Even at this early stage of your pregnancy, it is more beneficial for both your unborn baby and yourself to treat a bacterial infection with antibiotics than to risk harm to either from the infection progressing.

In quite a few cases, untreated infections also lead to damage or can even cause a miscarriage.

What Is Amoxicillin?

Amoxicillin is one of the antibiotics that are considered safe during pregnancy. This is a penicillin that is used as a broad-spectrum antibiotic and is characterized by particularly good absorption.

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Among the other advantages of amoxicillin is that there is an extremely extensive body of experience on this antibiotic for use in pregnancy. Very often it is used as Amoxi 1000, i.e. in the dosage of 1000 mg.

It belongs to the group of aminopenicillin antibiotics and has a particularly broad spectrum of activity. Amoxicillin is particularly effective against gram-negative rod bacteria. Another advantage is that amoxicillin is very well absorbed by the body, especially when taken orally, i.e. in tablet form.

Because of the good absorption, this antibiotic can be used in lower doses. This also reduces the occurrence of undesirable side effects. Amoxicillin works because it inhibits the transpeptidase enzyme of bacteria. This makes it impossible for bacteria to build a cell wall. As a result, the bacterium dies.

What Does Embryotox Have To Say About Amoxicillin?

Embryotox is an initiative of the Charité hospital in Berlin that provides pregnant women with independent information about drugs. The focus is on effects and tolerability for the unborn child. The portal has been in operation since 2008 and provides up-to-date information on drugs, but also on diseases during pregnancy and their treatment options.

Amoxicillin is also monitored by Embryotox, as are numerous other antibiotics on the market. These include dosages up to amoxicillin 1000 mg. For the first trimester, Embryotox does not indicate an increased risk of malformation for the unborn child. For the second and third trimesters and for the period after delivery, Embryotox also offers the all-clear.

Amoxicillin is also considered a very well-tolerated antibiotic in these stages of pregnancy and immediately after birth. Embryotox is also investigating the relationship between amoxicillin in combination with clavulanic acid in this context. Based on the available data, Embryotox cannot identify an increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, which is feared in premature infants. Amoxicillin can also be recommended without restriction after pregnancy.

Amoxicillin During Breastfeeding

Infections that need to be treated with antibiotics can also occur during breastfeeding. For these, according to Embryotox, amoxicillin is also considered the drug of the first choice. Although it also passes into breast milk, no significant adverse effects are observed in the infant.

According to Embryotox, only thinner stools or mild diarrhea may be observed in breastfed infants during antibiotic administration. However, this usually outweighs the cost of an untreated infection, and moreover, this symptom occurs in only a fraction of infants.

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Therefore, if you have to take amoxicillin while breastfeeding, this by no means means means that you should stop breastfeeding because a disadvantage for your baby is not to be expected. However, if you have any concerns, you can control the dose your baby gets through breast milk by taking your antibiotic dose in the evening right after the last breastfeeding before your baby’s longest sleep break.

This way, the antibiotic will only be present in breast milk in small amounts until the next breastfeeding. If you want to completely avoid your baby coming into contact with the antibiotic, you can also pump and supplement with formula milk for the duration of your antibiotic therapy.

How Are Antibiotics Taken During Pregnancy?

For antibiotic therapy during pregnancy, the same applies as usual: You should take the complete amount of the prescribed medication for the period prescribed by your doctor. In many cases, this means a period of up to two weeks, even if you are taking a high dose, such as Amoxicillin 1000 mg.

Even after your symptoms have improved, you should never stop taking the antibiotic during pregnancy. It is likely that the pathogens are not yet completely killed, although you already feel better. In this case, severe relapses of the disease can occur after some time, which then makes it necessary to take the antibiotic again.

In this case, it is not uncommon to have to take a different antibiotic, which has a stronger effect and can therefore also lead to more severe side effects.

Antibiotics During Pregnancy – On The Safe Side With Amoxicillin?

Even during pregnancy, there is no guarantee of staying healthy. Because especially with the weakened immune system, it is likely that bacterial pathogens can lead to infections.

If antibiotics are used during pregnancy, which is also safe according to Embryotox, the risk for your unborn child and you is significantly minimized. One of the drugs of choice in pregnancy for a variety of bacterial infections is the active ingredient amoxicillin.

If it is taken as prescribed, it causes hardly any side effects and allows you to enjoy your pregnancy again quickly.

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