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what will pain meds do to my unborn baby?
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what will pain meds do to my unborn baby?

i am 29 & 15 weeks pregnant. i have severe scoliosis & several bulging discs. i have had severe back pain & have taken pain meds for 5 years now. doc had me on soma fentenayl, oxycontin, i got sick of running out early & withdrawling so i had him take me off of them. i am currently taking 10mg of percocet every 4 hours. i often double up. i have tried to cut back. i have been told by 3 dr.s that everything should be okay & its a category b drug during pregancy. however i feel horrible for being weak to my mind and the pain & still taking them. im worried about the effects on my baby. when i have stopped i become majorly depressed, i dont clean or leave the house. its all i can do to keep up with my 4yr old. its a problem. can u give me any advice or possibly peace of mind?
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The general advice, or 'standard of care', is to keep an 'addict' stable during pregnancy, even if to do so means keeping the person on methadone the whole time.  I would apply the same logic to pain patients who are 'opiate dependent'-- you are probably better off-- and your baby better off-- on a constant dose of narcotic (without the soma or tylenol), than going through ups and downs where you get depressed, eat poorly, sleep poorly, get little exercise...   There have now been tens of thousands of babies born to women on methadone, and it appears to be safe as far as birth defects are concerned.

The baby would go through withdrawal after birth, and some nurses or docs will likely make you feel very guilty.  But withdrawal is much worse for adults than for babies.  Think about it-- much of withdrawal is fatigue, and feeling guilty-- and newborns are going to have none of either of those.   Many places still do circumcisions without anesthesia, and up until a decade or two ago, infants had heart surgery under paralysis ONLY-- without anesthetics!!  I am not approving of those things, only placing the withdrawal in context.  

My biggest concern when a patient has a baby while staying on buprenorphine maintenance (I have had a number of patients do so) is that the nurses will make the patients guilty and miserable.  I have seen firsthand a nursery with a large number of crying infants... and the nurses will scold the mother of the 'withdrawing' baby, even if the other babies are far more fussy!  Try to make your best decision and ignore the comments of others;  you didn't ask to be where you are today, and we all do the best we can.
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