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Pain Management Community
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Avatar universal

Pain Mgmt and Pregnancy

I have severe cervical dystonia which haa been treated with botox injections and various pain killers and muscle relaxants.  I am now 5 months pregnant and have been prescribed Lortab/Vicodin for pain mngt.  I am looking for any stories from women who did take pain medication throughout their pregnancies and what they took, any effects, etc.  I took Lortab with my first little girl -- who had no problems and is a highly intelligent, blah, blah.  :)  Looking for some reassurance.  Thanks
20 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi,
I am 44 this year, I have chronic pain from an accident which now has me permanently handicapped.   I take 30 mg MS contin, 3 times a day,  8 mg dilaudid every 4 hours as needed, Zanaflex 4 mg morning and afternoon and 8 mg in the evening.  I am a brittle diabetic so I am also on an insulin pump.  I tried awful hard to avoid the dilaudid but there were days that I could not do without because my husband and I were house hunting at the time.  I will admit I was seeing a high risk doctor because of the pain meds and all the other problems, the diabetes, elevated BP and I did fine up until the 32 week.  I was then hospitalized for t and had full bed rest. It had nothing to do iwth the pain meds though.  :O)  

Our little boy was born by emergency c-section on August 5,2006.  He weighed only 4.4 lbs but it was only because he was so early.  Follow the diet the dietitian or OB/gyn gave you follow all the recommendations and you will be fine.  You won't be able to breastfeed if your baby goes into the NICU but if you don't you might be lucky enough to help your baby with the detox process by breastfeeding for a few months slowly weening the baby from breast milk to formula.  That is what the NICU Dr. told me before my body went haywire from the pre-eclempsia ino full toxemis. I am sure you will be fine.  :o) .
535089 tn?1400677119
Hello Bugsmom:

Another great informational source would be the Pregnancy Forum. You can find it at the top of the page on the Forum Tab. After you click on it, you will find the Pregnancy member forum on your left hand side and the Professional Pregnancy Forum on your right hand side.
Please take care good luck with your Pregnancy.
Mollyrae
356518 tn?1322267242
I went off all my meds for my two girls. It was very very hard and I would not want to do it again but if there is even a slight chance something could go wrong which I knew they could I would never forgive myself. I am NOT saying your wrong at all. It is up to each and every mother what they choose but PLEASE get a high risk doctor and make sure you get all your check ups.
To me I figured I could suffer for nine months so they would have a very good start at life with no complications from my meds. I look back and ask myself if I could do it again and I most likley could not at this point in my life so it is what were given and how we endure it.
God is watching over you and your baby:)
Avatar universal
I was on pain meds during my pregnancy with my son. He is now 2 years old and is very healthy and intelligent....I must brag for just a second he already speaks and understands two different languages. The important part of being on any medications while pregnant is to make sure that your OB/GYN is aware of all medications and the dosages that you are taking. My OB doctor worked very closely with my pain doctor during my pregnancy. Good luck and congrats on the new baby.
Avatar universal
Oh, I'm sorry I forgot to list what I was taking. I was Lortab and Baclofen.
Avatar universal
Thank you!  And yes you should brag.  :)
Avatar universal
I found out I was pregnant when I was going in for facet injections. They always test you before the procedure because they can't use the sedation meds if you are pregnant. I was in total shock to say the least. I had been told it would be hard for me to conceive and my husband and I always used protection. But I was pregnant. I was on all sorts of meds, Neurontin, Effexor, muscle relaxer, morphine. I stopped all that I could. The one thing I could not stop was the pain med. I was in too much pain. My doctor switched me to Methadone. I took that throughout my pregnancy. He said it was the safest during pregnancy. I also saw a high risk OB due to the med. I had to give birth 4 weeks early because by then I could not walk I was in so much pain. They did an amniocentisis to make sure her lungs were ready and then did a c-section. Afterwards after the spinal wore off I was in so much pain I could not breathe. I was hyperventilating it hurd so bad. They had me on a morphine pca pump. It didn't do any good because at the time the doctors did not know that methadone and morphine do not work together. They still gave me the methadone at the same time and the drugs worked against each other cancelling the other one out. One is an agonist and the other an antogonist. After 12 hours I told them to just turn off the morphine and I just took the methadone. I did get better but it still hurt really bad.
My daughter is now 3 1/2 and doing great. She did have to spend two weeks in the NICU to be weened off the meds. My docs told me at the time that I was doing the right thing to stay on the med because the stress of being in so much pain would have been worse  for the baby and could have caused preterm labor. However, I still felt really guilty for taking it.
I did stop the methadone after delivery and I weened down, but it was still the hardest thing I ever went through. Coming off Methadone was the worst. I will NEVER touch that med again. There were days my mom had to help me with my daughter because I was so imcopassitated. The pain of withdrawal is way worse than the normal everyday pain I experience, and that is bad enough.
I hope this helps you.
I also had a consultation at the hospital to make sure I would be treated appropriately after the c-section about a month before I delivered. It did no good. They said they understood that I was a CP patient, but really in the end they did not do anything to help me. They did not understand that I had a higher tolerance for pain meds than most normal people and would not increase the dose. I had to suffer through it.
I now have a great PM doctor and he just tells me NOT to get pregnant again. That's okay because I am now divorced due to a husband that could not understand why I had to take meds. He does not believe in meds. I would just like to see how he would respond to unrelenting pain day after day after day. I pray that he feels what I feel for 1 day and then maybe he would understand. At least now I don't have him putting me down all the time. We don't even talk about the meds. He just asks how my pain is from time to time, like he really cares.
356518 tn?1322267242
I did have to be weened off my meds because if I had stopped them suddenly I would have lost both girls. it is very important to know that. Also when taking narcotis while pregnant they will prolong labor and even to the point where labor may have to be induced. My doctor said the narcotics basically slows down the labor and can keep you from going into labor.
I was in soooo much pain when I went off my meds and I would hate to have to face that decision again today at this point in my life but I still believe I did the absolute right thing for my girls. The 9 months of suffering is nothing compared to the possible lifetime of a suffering child if something went wrong by my continuing the pain meds. Everyone has their own opinion and choice but remember the child should have every chance of being a normal thriving baby and a great start at life.
The mothers who are addicted to crack and other illicit drugs who keep doing drugs during pregnancy have their baby start life addicted to drugs and are very VERY miserable in their first months of life not to mention the disabilites and possible deformities they may have.They will have to work twice as hard to learn what should be normal and will have a very tough life only because the selfish mother did not care enough to give them a normal chance at life! this is a very big problem here in Florida as well as everywhere else in the country and it is a shame. it upsets me so very much and I think these so called mothers should have the baby taken from them as they could not even protect the beby in the womb how in the world will they do it in life. this is a very big issue with me and I promote no drug use at all if at all possible because although it will be absolute pain it will pay off in the end as the baby will have a great start at life and will not have to deal with possible disabilities and deformaties. Think about the children who will suffer their entire life because the mother wasn't willing to give up illicit drug use for them.
Anytime we as CP Pts have to have any kind of surgery we need to have our PM doctor there to advise on pain control or atleast have the doctor preforming the surgery confer with our PM doctors or you WILL suffer greatly due to our taking narcotics on a regular basis.

Sorry for the rant!

Avatar universal
I did have my PM doctor confer with the doctors before my c-section but in the end they are not the ones writing the orders after surgery for your pain control. In my case they did nothing extra for me like they had promised. They gave me a normal dose of pain med for a normal person who is not tolerant to opiods. It was horrible. They would not listen to me when I told them it had to be a higher dose. They just came back with their hospital policy and how much they were allowed to give any patient(nontolerant patient that is).  
All I know is I have to have another surgery and I told my PM doc that I will not do it unless he writes the orders for pain management after surgery. I don't trust any other doctor to do the right thing. A PM doc knows how much med you can tolerate and you can be monitored to make sure you aren't getting too much, but at least enough to help with the pain, even if you do have to spend some time in the ICU to get the right treatment. You would need more monitoring on the higher doses that everyone else is afraid to do. But if you can find someone who will then that is where you should go.
Avatar universal
I am kind of confused on what you are saying about mothers who do take drugs including illicit drugs like heroin,crack,. Does that also go to say you believe the same about the mothers who have to take prescription pain meds like methadone,morphine, and others like that just to get through day to day life to get up in the morning, get out of bed in the morning to take care of themselves and their family.
It makes me feel that you are against any woman who has to take any meds while pregnant because the picture you showed us how these babies would turn out.
All I know is that I did what I had to do to get my baby through the pregnancy hopefully not preterm. I cut off all my meds but one. I switched to methadone from Avinza. My doctor told me this was the safest way for me to have a happy healthy baby. And she was happy and healthy. But like me she had to be weaned off the meds also. She received excellent care in the NICU. We had no problems when we got her home. She has met all of her milestone moments if not bypassed many of them. My daughter now is 3 1/2 and is so intelligent. She knows everything a three yo is supposed to know, even more. She's very bright and articulate. She also has a very compassionate side to her that tears at my heart.I am in so much love with my child. Now that I think about my daughter I feel guilty that I did take those meds for pain control. Towards the end I could not even walk. I had to have her early so I could get her out and then deal with the pain I was having to not have to affect her. I know now that the meds I took did not harm my baby. In school I am told she is head of the class and is right where she is supposed to be.   I am giving every and anything I can for my daughter. She is the light of my life.My daughter if anything, will have an easier life just knowing what her mother went through just to get her her safely.All I know is the my doc told me to stay on methadone and it was the best for the baby compared to what I had been on(morphine) and if I had quit all of it cold turk could have caused a serious miscarriage. I did not want my baby to die. This child I was not supposes to be able to conceive. I will do anything to protect my child, starting in  the woumb and whatever else she may be getting into now.                                                                                                                          I know I had these things going through my mind when I found out I was pregnant. I had to realize what I could and could not live with. I weaned off all the other drugs I was on for the safety of the baby. My doctor told me we can try weening off but then the pain from the injury would come back fullforce. I had a doc tell me it was not good to have anxiety throughout this pregnancy it would cause pre term labor..Some people have to take their meds for reasons we may not be aware of. As long as the doc is in on all this then how do things go wrong?d
356518 tn?1322267242
NO, please do not get me wrong. I know some can not quit taking their pain meds as I did. I am NOT saying your any less of a good mother or anyone else.
I am speaking of the woman who have serious drug addiction issues and know they do and choose not to get the help they need for the sake of the baby.
It is impossible for some to stop taking the medications they are taking and when done with the help of a high risk OB that will over see any problems I see no problem with that.
Of course it would be great if everyone could stop taking any type of medications for the baby's sake but that is totally unrealistic and I realize this. I would love to be able to get through my days without taking medications but that is not relistic either as I need them to function.
I am so sorry my post came off the way it did. I understand that chronic pain pts do have to take their medications during pregnancy I just wanted to make sure it is known how very important it is to have a high risk doctor that can observe and forsee any problems for the baby and make it as safe as posssible for the baby and mom.
I do believe that your a great mom and have a beautiful baby who is thriving and I am so very glad for you. Congrats:)
Perhaps I should tell you why I made this post about mothers who give birth to drug addicted babies. I met a young lady in the doctors office who was on crack and pregnant and she had NO intentions of trying to stop the drugs for the baby's sake and her sake.
She had the mind set that hey the doctors will fix the baby and all will be fine. I was enraged and I felt like this baby has to start life drug addicted and feeling so terrible and sick the first minths of her life and even if she is lucky enough to escape deformaties she will have to go through withdrawl and possible learning disability's.
I think these women are selfish and have no right being mothers. I do know addiction is a disease but if one is going to continue taking drugs and knowing it will harm the baby and then expect the doctors to fix the problems the baby will have then thats no mother in my book.
The law should step in and make these women stop taking drugs while pregnant and then give the baby a proper home. I may be wrong here but I see children who suffer because fo the mothers selfishness and it makes my blood boil.
And you are in no way in this group of mothers and I apoligize for my post making it sound as if I put you there because thats just not the case.
I am sorry:(
Avatar universal
Thank you for that. I do understand the way you do about other women who could care less what they were doing to their unborn. Me,on the underhand, knew exactly what I was doing and lived with the guilt everyday. I used to be a NICU nurse that took care of those drug addicted babies. It made me so sick to think that I could be doing that to my child. I had no alternatives. I couldnot get out of bed because of the overwhelming pain and the pregnancy on top of that was horrible in itself. I was vomiting day after day all day. I had to be treated for dehydration on more than two occasions. I always felt it was my fault. If only I could stop taking those d*** pills. On thre other hand I was reassured it was perfectly safe for the baby. It still made me cry everytime I went to see my OB. They then decided I was having too much stress and wanted me to take Ativan. In my 3rd stage of labor they said it was okay, thath the stress would harm the fetus more than the med would.  I still could only imagine what I was doing to my baby who has not even had a chance to live yet.                                                                                                                           I applaud anyone who can go off meds for the sake of their pregnancy. I just know I had too much pain and could not deal with life that way. I still think about it today. the time I missed with her while she was in the NICU instead of home with me her first two weeks of life. Also how the doctors look at you as if you were a Heroin addict. They just assume it. I had to set him straight.They also told me they would have to let social servivces know. That also scared me, but nothing ever came of it.. My daughter did very well being weaned down. you could not even tell if it was affecting her. She just slept right through it. I could barely keep her awake long enough to feed her. I really believe they overmedicated her just to make sure she would not have any problems. They weaned her down way too slow in my opinion. We never saw her eyes open, always sleeping. And when we got her home, she was a perfect little angle, ate and slept perfectly.   I do know I want another child, but will not even consider it in the condition I am in now. I would have to go through yet another surgery to fix the instrumentation in my spine and then hopefully the pain meds can be stopped.
356518 tn?1322267242
I don't have to tell you the kind of pain I was in. It was the WORST times in my life.
When I went off of the meds for my first little girl I was bed ridden the whole nine months and only really got up to go to the doctor and the rest room. My son bless his heart waited on me hand and foot both times and when he was at school my mom in law helped me. it was very very hard and I stand by mt decision today but would not do it again. After my first lttle girl ( Kerri) was born my mom in law had surgery and so I had to help her and that too was rough coming home from the hospitial and waiting on her but my dad in law helped and atleast I had my medications back. After my second ( Kelli was born my son Kevin helped me alot. I don't know what I would have done with out them.
My son Kevin who is 20 now is a manager at walmart after only being there for less than two years! He is the youngest to acel the fastest in walmart history and I could not be more proud of him.
We all have our hurdles to face at some point in life and when we get past them we can look back and say wow I can't believe I got through that.
Congrats on the beautiful baby!
Avatar universal
HI BUGSMOM1!!
DUHHHH! silly me.  Tell you all the nighty grity and forget to tell the most important bits!!!!   The head NICU DR. kept reassuring us and kept saying there would be no problems with our baby and to continue taking the medS.  The withdrawal problems and symptoms that I would undergo would be far worse for the baby then any problem that he might incur by my taking the pain meds.  He had also  said that he was glad I did not have other problems as anti-seizure meds, heart meds, and some other meds WILL CAUSE PROBLEMS whereas most  if not all pain meds will not.  My husband and I had planned on coming off the meds or taking a lot less before getting pregnant and knew that we had time because we had also been told  the only way we could become pregnant is IVF.  Well, so much for IVF and so much for coming off the meds. Considering what I was taking at the time it might not have been possible to eliminate all the pain meds.  
Our son was born 7 1/2 weeks early. Healthy, happy on c-pap for 1 day and in the NICU for 9 days.  The only reason he was in NICU was because he was early and had to come off the medication.  Our son did fantastic!  He scored numbers only 1 day and the nurse that was taking care of him was a bit of a tenacious idiot giving withdrawal babies points for yawning the wrong way.  The head  Doctor of NICU while looking over our baby's file said "yup we can ignore that entry" and smiled.
Yes,  some babies do really well and have no withdrawal  problems. (Ours was one of them).  Others have very serious problems and may have to stay in the NICU longer.  Either way I can safely say all those that I had seen in NICU with the similar issue was doing great, off the meds quickly and on their way home just as quickly!  That was my experience.

Currently our rug rat is 18 months old and already exhibiting the "terrible twos" traits.  I look in the mirror in the morning, smile and say: "Welcome to motherhood...AGAIN!!!)

:o)
356518 tn?1322267242
Azmomof2,
     I am so glad the baby did well and you also. It is great to hear stories like this where all went well:)
178107 tn?1315951230
I know this is kind of off the subject, but my doctor has mentioned the botox injections for my neck.  Did they help you?
Avatar universal
Your story sounds a little like mine. They had to take my daughter 4 weeks early because I was in so much pain and could not walk because I had a nerve being pressed on by the baby. She only exibited problems the first day too but I did not really see any. I am a trained NICU nurse and only saw that she was grunting due to the c-section and fluids in her lungs. Sometimes as nurses we want to make sure the babies don't suffer and therefore we want to help them as much as we can. Knowing that a mom was on pain meds you would think a baby would have to wd. I was very upset at the dose of morphine they were giving my baby. It was too high and she could not even stay awake long enough to finish even 1 oz. They would not let me breastfeed and that hurt me also. They would dose her up and then try to feed her. She was born at 5lbs. 13oz. and went down to 5lbs. even. She lost all that weight because they were giving her too much and would not wean her down appropriately. It took two weeks, and that seemed like an eternity.  I am glad to hear that yours did great.
To Sandee1818--hats off to you girl. I don't know how you did it. I couldn't. I cried everyday from the pain even though I was on meds. during the last trimester. I never went up on my meds and that might have been why I hurt so bad. I know they say you are supposed to go up because of the increase in blood volume and some of it going to the baby. I already felt guilty enough. I also read research that said at higher doses the baby would have wd's so I did not want to do that. The only reason I stayed on them was because I did not want a miscarriage. She was my miracle baby I was not supposed to be able to have.
Avatar universal
Yes the botox injections worked wonders on my dystonia -- I took no medication when the botox was actiev -- for about 4 months at a time.  I would do it right now if I felt better about the amounts they need to inject (it is quite a bit.)
Avatar universal
For those of you who had babies who were in the NICU or demonstrated withdrawl -- what kinds and approx amounts of medication were you taking?  I am taking 1.5 500/500 lortab a day -- my doctor is confidant there should be no withdrawl at the level....thoughts?

Thanks
Avatar universal
I was on Methadone 50mg/day.
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