Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Narcotics given during Childbirth

Think about it.

An Epidural is actually a mixture of anesthetic medications (like lidocaine or chloroprocaine) and narcotics (like Demerol or morphine). An epidural is administered through a catheter. This catheter is inserted in your back into the space surrounding the outside membrane of your spine.

Like the epidural, the Spinal block is a mixture of anesthetic medications and narcotics. It is administered during the active stages of labor or just prior to a C-section. The spinal block works immediately to relieve pain as the medication is injected directly into the fluid in your spinal column.

Demerol is a popular choice for pain relief during labor. Demerol alters how you recognize the pain you are experiencing by binding to the receptors found in your central nervous system. Demerol can cause drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, respiratory depression, and maternal hypertension (low blood pressure). If injected within five hours of delivery, Demerol has been found to cause breathing difficulties in babies.

Stadol has been found to relieve pain when given in the first stage of labor. This narcotic is also considered more potent than morphine and Demerol. It is usually given intravenously in small doses, usually 1 to 2 mg. Stadol can cause the mother to have respiratory depression and a dysphoric reaction (a state of feeling well and unhappy).

Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic similar to Morphine or Demerol and provides moderate to mild sedation.  Intrathecal Fentanyl is the placement of fentanyl, into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord. This is different from an epidural in which medication is placed into the epidural space. Intrathecal Fentanyl is a one-time injection into the spinal column similar to an epidural.

 --> Narcotics dull pain.  Think about if you injure yourself while you're drunk, the pain will be dulled, but like alcohol, can make you loopy, out-of-it, nauseated, and even cause hallucinations.

--> You spend your entire pregnancy not putting anything even minorly possibly dangerous into your body for fear of harming your child, and then in the final hours preceding the child's birth you pump yourself up with NARCOTIC DRUGS?! think about it.

1 comment:

  1. ooh, interesting thought! Granted, it's always most important to stay away from the dangerous stuff earlier in your pregnancy, so near delivery, they're not AS likely to cause the kinds of long-term birth defects that mothers usually wish to avoid, BUT still, you're totally right.

    This post got me thinking of something else though-- these narcotics are given to people who have just undergone major surgery, etc. We're giving laboring women the same drugs as people who have just had a whole organ CUT out of their body?! How much pain will there really be?!?!


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