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For all the pregnant mommies in pain

Nov 02, 2011 - 11 comments

Hello all,
I havent been on here much and I feel horrible because every time I log on I see old emails from women who needed me. So, at the end of this journal I will write down my regular email address, that way if someone needs to talk, I will see your email faster. Just put in the subject line that you are on Medhelp and Ill know ;)
First, let me say that I have a beautiful baby girl that is extremely healthy and had no side effects or withdrawals from the pain meds I was on while pregnant.
I was on a pretty high dose too. Oxycodone 30mg every 4 hours for the first 6 months, then 15mg every 4 hours until i was about 7 1/2 months pregnant, then went down to percocet 10/325 for about a month then started cutting them in half. The last 3 weeks of my pregnancy my doctor put me on Norcos 10/325 which i would cut in half. I would take them about 4-5 times daily. As soon as the nurse found out that i was on those meds when i checked in at the hospital she said "FYI your baby will most likely be in the NICU for 2 weeks". I was scared to death. They did all kids of test after my daughter was born and there was nothing wrong with her. No withdrawals, and no other health issues. So, do not let people scare you. Even nurses are in the dark when it comes to knowing anything about pain meds and pregnancy. I also had a friend who had to be on Vicodin the last 3 weeks of her pregnancy because of kidney stones and her baby is fine too.
So, all i can say is enjoy your pregnancy, talk to your doctor and make sure he or she knows what you are taking. DO NOT EVER QUIT COLD TURKEY and DO NOT LET PEOPLE SCARE YOU OR MAKE YOU FEEL BAD BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO TAKE MEDS. Don't abuse them.... Im not saying its ok to take pills when pregnant but if they are prescribed and you need them because you are in pain then I have no problem with that.
I think most issues with babies born addicted to the meds arise when the meds are abused. If you take them as directed, there should not be any problems. Everyone is different however, everyone i know that has had to take medicine while pregnant and DID NOT abuse the meds had healthy babies that had no signs of withdrawals.
With all that said, I am not a doctor nor am i an expert. But, I am here for anyone who wants to talk or has any questions. I am more than happy to help. There were so many people that were there to help me when I was going through this.....
I didnt enjoy my pregnancy because of the meds so if you are in the same situation, ENJOY your pregnancy. Its such a joyful moment.

Here's my email: ***@****.

Good luck everyone.
Melanie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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1535595 tn?1317993633
by melanie2400, Nov 02, 2011
crap.... it wont let me give out my email.... shoot... well, ill check in more.. lol


647911 tn?1373318247
by nic374, Nov 02, 2011
i was taking pain med 4 serveral yrs, however when i found out i was pregnant in dec 2010 i slowey started to take myself off the painmeds and was able to free myself from them in jan 2011 it was one of the hardest things to do but i knew it was the right thing to do since i deceided to be pregnant. Please Im not trying to offend or anything but pain meds on a everyday basis is not good for the baby its like smoking and drinking we all make our chocies on what we want to do and will be ready to quit when where put to the task and I say carrying ur child is a very big deal to stay free from bad things we may do if not pregnant, unless its 100%  that u have to take them or a medicine that is not really needed unless u cant walk, U cant say that ur child wont have long term problem later in life, Many woman drink too and they say that there babies are fine also until they start to hit mildstones and see slowed development direct from what they did in the womb. Im sorry i dont agree with u weather there legal or u only took 1 a day it doesnt matter, U also go into a state database for narcoitcs not a good thing for many reasons including if u are or where to become married a judge could see that ur a unfit mother its happened before even if there is good reason to use and could possible award the child to the father, Cold Turkey will not kill u with opiods pregnant or not and being free from while pregnant is better than carry guilt on ur shoulders, not worth it in my eyes. gald ur baby is ok thou :)

1035252 tn?1427231433
by Ashelen, Nov 02, 2011
Just want to correct some things Nic374...

You cannot be proven an unfit mother for taking prescribed medicines as directed during pregnancy. many medications carry FAR greater risks during pregnancy and are still prescribed...so would they declare a woman who took seizure meds unfit just because she was on these "risky" meds? absolutely not.

So please don't try to scare people.

Also - you are correct MOST people can safely quit opiates without endangering their lives. But it is possible to miscarry if you cold turkey off of a high enough dose. So please do not recommend that people quit cold turkey during pregnancy without their doctor's approval; this is dangerous advice!

Please remember that your experiences might not apply to the same ones that other people have had, and while I applaud you for being strong enough to no longer need pain medicine please remember that not everyone is capable of coping with their pain on their own. It is great to be supportive of women who are trying to taper off of their medicine, or find alternative treatments - I'm 100% supportive of this. But it is not our place to judge or condemn women who need pain medicine during pregnancy. Generations of babies born to mothers who have been medicated during birth have proven that most narcotics carry very few risks; fewer, in fact, than ibuprofen in a lot of cases!

So please remember...while I really do commend you for your decision with your pregnancy, please be supportive and understanding of women whose paths are a little different!

377493 tn?1356505749
by adgal, Nov 02, 2011
I also feel the need to comment on this, and Melanie, this is such an incredibly important journal.  I commend you for taking the time to write it.  

I was not in a position to have to take pain meds while pregnant.  I do however work in the social services field.  I work closely with CPS and with many families dealing with addiction issues (amongst other challenges).  Ashelen is absolutely 100% correct.  They do NOT remove children from moms taking prescribed medication when pregnant.  Truth be told, they rarely even take babies from mom's who abuse drugs, although there is a risk of that happening.  It is just one of the factors they look at.  But when the medication is prescribed?  I have never ever seen that happen.

I so agree with Melanie and Ashelen.  The critical points are to not attempt a cold turkey withdrawal.  Whether it's as prescribed, or abuse, it is imparative that this be done under medical supervision.  Your Dr. is not there to judge you, but to assist you in having a healthy baby.  Even as an abuse issue, when a mom is trying to get clean, Social Services will typically work with you, not just remove the child.  So be honest....and it's critical to be completely honest about your use.

Many women find themselves in a position where they have to take pain meds during pregnancy.  It's nothing to be ashamed of, and working with your Dr. and other medical professionals, pain can be properly managed and a healthy baby born.  We have no place to judge, only support.

647911 tn?1373318247
by nic374, Nov 02, 2011
but lets face it u do get judged and who wants a issue with cps when it can be avoided but thank you for the notes, Im no one to judge her for making that choice because i had a long road of hell with them too, however abuse or not you do go into a state database and that i know for sure, Im not sure how other countries handle it but there is only one state here in the us that does not report to the state and its wiconsin all others will. I think woman that continuing the use of medications that are not really needed like perocet or vicodin, etc made a wrong choice. Its very simply to me I was very much into needing pain mght to function, on a every day basis but we all try to justify are wrong doings and feel like its ok and letting everyone know its ok to make ourself feel better because we know it to be wrong, pain killers are habit forming and u require them only after a short time so abuse is very high. And the hosiptal and doctors wont treat u like u deserve to be treated if u take them durning pregnancy.... sry she wasnt asking for support she was looking for people that have or had the same thing durning pregnancy so she can feel better about it. I think painkillers everyday will run and ruin ur life they overpower many even if u take them as directed. I will never support painkillers unless ur way older and really have a soild reason in taking them

377493 tn?1356505749
by adgal, Nov 02, 2011
All medications have there place, and most have the potential for abuse.  Long term use can cause dependancy, but that is also not the same thing as abuse or necessarily even addiction.  Typically people that are dependent on them have to get off of them slowly, but the same can be said for many meds.  I have taken anti depressants and anti anxiety meds in the past (as prescribed) and they tell you right off the bat not to stop them suddenly.  

I'm not sure what database you are referring to, but yes, when prescribed narcotics, some places do have databases.  However, it's not to judge, its to help stop the overprescribing, or people that Dr. hop.  That's why in many places, the prescription actually looks different.  It's called a triplicate.  One copy to the patient, one for Dr. records, and one to the state or province, or whatever the case may be.  It's a good thing.  And you will also find that when someone is discovered to be Dr. hopping, help is usually offered.  They don't just show up and start removing children from the home.

I think nic you are talking about two different issues.  Melanie and Ashelen are talking about the women out there who have to take pain medication during pregnancy.  It is a reality for many..they must take it to function even semi normally.  Chronic pain is a very real medical issue, and is and should be treated as such.  You seem to be talking more about buying pain killers etc. on the street, or just abusing them.    But either way, if choosing or being able to stop taking them during pregnancy, it must be under medical supervision.  That is critical.  And trust me...they do NOT remove children from women using pain killers as prescribed.  As for women abusing them...again, that is one factor they look at in the big picture when deciding to remove a child from parental custody.  It just isn't a simple matter of drugs used, remove child.  There is way more to it then that.

1794093 tn?1357934359
by Lesley27, Nov 02, 2011
i just want to add that you can not compare your personal story to anyone elses regarding medications... if you look up any medications side effects youll see there are A LOT! yet not everyone gets all those side effects and some people dont get any, even the most common ones... that is because EVERY body type is AFFECTED differently and should be assessed differently, along with a ton of other factors that make each situation different!(dose, lenght of time on med, reason person is taking current med... ect, ect im sure i could go on forever!)
Just a funny example: my favorite list of side effects are the ones that list constipation right next to diarrhea! couldnt be any more different!... so when it comes to meds (and pregnancy) the only person who should be assessing the need for the meds is the Drs... the ones who are educated with what works best and what doesnt...

PS i might be late adding this in if someone already said this... but im multitasking and cooking supper :) so im taking FOREVER to type


And i agree you both are talking about 2 very different extremes of the issue... one for abuse and one for need...

either way i just wanted to add that little bit of info into the conversation...

1510339 tn?1321398413
by Neisha82, Nov 02, 2011
I'm going have to agree with Melanie and Ashelen.  I work in the medical field and it does sound like you may gotten the short end if the stick with cps, which can happen quite frequently.  But by me working in the medical field I can tell you first hand that there are reasons why no doctor I have ever met wants you to quite anything cold turkey and one of those reasons just so happens to be because of the stress you put on the baby.  This is true whether drugs are prescribed or abused.  Because everyone body, mind, and chemical make up is different there is no telling what may or may not effect you or the baby.  If we go by the logic and reasoning that your giving, it is a complete miracle that mankind has survived at all other than the last 30 years when all of these warnings and advices started to come to light.  I'm sorry but there is no way that you or anyone else can convince me that every single person who used a drug prescribed or not ( including alcohol) while pregnant, has children who are delayed, have birth defects or a development problem that arose later in that child's life.  You have the right to your own opinion, but to put some else down for their circumstances or make them feel bad about themselves only say that you still have some issues of your own to work out.  I am 38 weeks pregnant and I am lucky enough not to have to take any types of drugs during my pregnancy so far, but I will always support anyone who is trying to better themselves and love ones.  It is not up to us to judge, which also includes in judging you.  I commend you for being able to stop the use of drugs cold turkey and not have your baby suffer for it.  Just remember that everyone and their bodies are not the same and neither are their situations.  We are all only human and can only live life the best way we can.

377493 tn?1356505749
by adgal, Nov 03, 2011
I was thinking about this and just wanted to add something.  Yes, in a perfect world no one would require medication during pregnancy.  I think most of us even hesitate to take tylenol.  But sadly, medical issues like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, etc. do not just go away with pregnancy.  They must be managed.  If it is the other scenario, such as addiction, that also does not disappear with pregnancy.  For many woman though, it's something that can increase their desire to get off of whatever they are taking.  I worry that women will read through this, worry so much about CPS involvement, and will attempt to go cold turkey or withdraw on their own.  Please believe me when I say it is dangerous to attempt this.  Addiction is not something to be ashamed of, and if you are trying to get off of drugs, know that there is help.  You will not go to jail, lose your kids, or any other awful things.  But you will both get help in getting through it, as well as prepare the medical staff delivering your child for any issues they may have.  To try to hide it, or do it on your own, is endangering your child and yourself.  So please, anyone reading this, instead of feeling afraid and ashamed, feel pride that you are trying, and reach out to your Dr.  I think most of you will find someone that is far more interested in you and your baby being healthy then in having the child removed.

1121273 tn?1325371575
by k10road, Nov 03, 2011
Well said Ashelen and adgal :)

nic374, with all due respect, I think you are way off base here, and I think that you potentially gave some very dangerous advice.

640548 tn?1340556955
by mikaleen, Nov 05, 2011
Hi,

I just wanted to add that oftentimes when there are questions of possible withdrawal in the baby, depending on the drug, breastfeeding can be an important tool in weaning the baby from the in-utero exposure.  Smaller doses of the drug pass through the breast milk, and that helps minimize some of the withdrawal symptoms baby may show.  Of course it needs to be discussed with the Dr. in case the medication is one incompatible with breastfeeding, but many drugs that can be taken in pregnancy can be taken while breastfeeding.

Dr.s many times will tell patients to not even quit smoking cold turkey, it can affect the baby, so quitting anything cold turkey that will affect mom will also affect baby.

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