Hi there. I'm completely new to this site. I wanted to post my own question, since I have a pretty unique case, and most all questions related to pain medications on this site are years old! First of all, here's my story...
I am a chronic pain sufferer for the past 15 years. I have been taking the same regimen of pain medication for the past 9 years. I had a baby boy 3 years ago, and he suffered no effects from me taking oxycodone and oxycontin during the pregnancy. However, with my daughter that I had 2 weeks ago, I had her at 39 weeks. All went well with delivery. But then within 24 hours post delivery, she was put inNICU and deemed addicted to my pain meds. She's going through morphine therapy for the past two weeks, and we don't know when they will ever release her. Its been hell to say the least! I've been battling with my guilt, for "doing" this to my precious girl in the first place! ( I NEVER have abused my medications, but just the fact that I had to take them to get through a given day, and that she is paying the price is killing me!) To look at her, you would think she is a normal baby! Wich makes it expecially hard, as I just want to pack her up and take her home! I don't know when they will ever release her, as they have her under a microscope! (counting her sneezes and yawns and poops..and if she has too many or her poo isn't the right consistency, its blamed on the withdrawl! Heck, everything is attributed to it! Its been frustrating especially, because everyone treats me like I'm an addict and makes me feel like a criminal! The attitude of nurses is appawling! (Like I chose to live the past 15 years in debilitating pain, and like I prescribed these meds to myself and am doing this to me and my child!) Anyway..I'm getting off track.
When my baby was born, I asked the OBGYN (who knows exactly what meds I take and how much) if I could at least breast feed my baby my colustrum after she was born. The doc looket at me funny, and asked why I would just feed her that and not continue to breast feed her...I told her that I didn't know that breastfeeding her was an option. She smiled and said of course I can breast feed and that my medication would not harm her, because it will be metabolized by my body before entering the breastmilk, and then whatever is remaining would be metabolized by my baby, and then what small .00001% would "get through" to baby..such a small amount that wouldn't effect her in a negative way..that actually when she was in utero, she recieved a LOT more. I was so overjoyed to learn that finally after having three children that I would finally be able to breast feed one of them! So I breast fed her. After she was admitted to NICU, a few days later, I asked my daughter's neonatologist about the safety of breast feeding her. He said the exact same thing that my OB did, that its perfectly alright, and that the only reasons a woman cant breastfeed her baby would be if they had HIV or HEP B, or were taking meds for thiroid, etc. (which I'm not..). So, I went out and bought a pump and continued to breast feed her when I visited her in NICU and pumped while away. I worked very hard to get my milk in and finally got tot the point where I was producing enough to at least give her half of her daily milk needs from me. Then everything changed. My daughters NICU doc was switched for two weeks, as the two head doc's do 2 week rotations. Her new doc yelled at me and couldn't believe that I was feeding her breastmilk! (I still cry everytime I see this woman in the halls of the NICU!) The new doc says that there isn't enough concrete evidence about how much medicine actually gets through to the baby, and that according to the pharmacy, it is something like 18%, not the .0001% my other docs said. She refuses to allow my daughter to leave the NICU if I choose to continue to breastfeed her my milk. She said while she is on duty, she would never sign relase papers that would get my daughter home and off the monitors that check her heart rate and respritory rate..that she would never let her go home, where there are no monitors to make sure she is ok while drinkning my milk! I was floored! I simply couldn't and cant believe that my obgyn, who graduated and has been practicing medicine since the late 1970's and my daughters first neonatologist doc in the nicu who is at least in his late 50's, could both be wrong..not only in their knowledge, but in their clinical experience! That this woman doctor who is obviously just off the turnip truck so to speak, and is still very wet behind the ears, who is younger than my 33 years, could know so much on the subject! Now, I have no way of contacting the other NICU doc that originally told me it was ok, until he comes back on rotation in over a week's time! I haven't pumped in 2 days because I'm depressed about it, and tired so tired of the fight!
So, I guess my question is, (and please don't respond if you don't know what you are talking about, and have only internet statistics to spout at me..) does anyone else out there have any experience breast feeding their babies on long term "hefty" pain medications? (not the people who take 4 vicoden a day, I mean the people who are like me, and take long acting around the clock stuff and breakthrough meds between)..Any medical proffessionals and pharmacists are strongly encouraged to reply!
I thank you all for your time, and for witholding any judgements (I have had enough of being treated adversely to last me a life time, so no lectures please!)..I just want honest and helpful advice.
Well I cannot say anything about the meds, but pump and store your milk just in case you find the answers you're looking for to be favorable, so you don't dry up and have a small supply waiting. I hope everything works out for the best, whatever the answer may be.
I'm sorry I can't answer your question but I know how it is to be in chronic pain. I have degenerated discs in my back which causes me daily pain. When I had my first child I barely could walk cuz my back wouldn't allow me to stand up straight. I didn't take anything for pain. Which I should of. Don't let those drs get you down. Call around and do you're own research about breastfeesing on meds. Maybe get different opinions from other drs. I hope it all works out for you and I'm sorry I can't answer your question but your post touched me and I just wanted to comment. Good luck
thank you :0) I started pumping again tonight..my Mom told me to do the exact same as you..just incase. I am hanging onto the hope that I will be able to..but I don't want to harm her in any way, so that's why I didn't end up fighting this new doctor, incase she is right.
Thanks for the comments :) Have a great day!
Thank you Katierlenava..
I appreciate your post! Its NEVER easy living in pain..never easy to look "normal" on the outside and being the opposite inside! I am sorry to hear of your struggles with chronic pain, and I feel for you. Good luck to you as well, on your journey to a better quality of life. And thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it! :O)
Gosh you're in such a hard spot. The newer doctor who says not to feed your baby breast milk probably learned different things than the doctors that went to school years ago. There may be new studies about pain meds and breast milk that the older doctors don't know about. Don't feel so guilty about your baby, she will be just fine. You're not taking pain meds for fun, its out of your control. There's nothing you could have done differently. I will say a prayer for you and your baby.
I hesitate to speculate on this but I recently went through some lactation studies for a childbirth educator course. For a while doctors prescribed women oxycodone like you are taking right after birth. It was considered safe and a replacement to codeine, even for breastfeeding Mothers. But in recent years there have been some studies that show oxycodone is effecting the babies too. Now... I have read a couple of these studies and I think the observation groups are too small for a real definitive answer. I can see how the newer doctor wouldn't want to take any risks. And i wouldn't want to take the risk as a Mom. I'm not criticizing you at all. You were going on the advice of your doctors and it is unfortunate that you are getting mixed info. I think the reason the info is mixed because it is really hard to do these type of drug studies on pregnant woman, new borns and lactating women. Who would volunteers to take drugs for these studies?
I don't know an answer to your question but I would personally speak to the head of the Nicu. There is a person who is over each department including the Nicu so that dr has a boss. Explain what you were told by two other drs and that dr and go from there. Do it in person not over the phone. Explain your situation just like you did here . The department head will definately get you the clarification you need. Good luck to you.
Thank you :0) I appreciate everything you said. I too considered that the two older doc's advice could be conflicting with younger doc's advice because of new info or research or simply because there's such an age gap that newer philosophy is different than the old one..
At this point, I'm about to call a pharmacist myself and get their view as well, and compare notes, then go back to both docs that originally said it was ok and then go from there.
Thank you for your prayers, I appreciate them! :0)
I think you gave great advice! I never thought of going to the head of NICU. Perfect idea! Not only will it voice my frustration over the entire situation, but possibly help the situation and also help others after me not to end up in the same boat I'm in now. I think most of these doc's are used to seeing "abuse" type cases, and don't prepare themselves for legitimate pain sufferers like me! I think my story definately needs to be heard by someone in the hospitial, and the head of NICU is the appropriate place to start! So thank you :0)
Hi there, I read your issue now October 24 2013. Since I got same issue, and planning to get pregnant soon, I would like you to kindly write what did you do eventually? What was your finding? And if you continued breastfeeding - how long for, and did you notice bad results, god forbid, with your child overall health or behavior? Thanks so much. By lee44
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