Fentanyl During Labor

The pain of labor during childbirth is something that creates a lot of anxiety for many women, but there are options available to help women deal with it. There are two primary medications that are available for pain relief during labor and delivery, which are classified as analgesic and anesthetics.

Analgesics are those drugs that provide pain relief but don’t restrict muscle movement, while anesthetics block feeling including pain, but they may also impact the movement of an entire region of your body, which is usually below the waist.

A lot of women don’t know that systemic analgesics, which are opioids, are available during pregnancy, but there are things to consider both in favor of and against using these. One example is fentanyl during labor, but there are many others as well.

Fentanyl During Labor
As mentioned opioids including fentanyl during labor are one option women have. Opioids are often considered the first-line option for pain relief aside from natural options like massage and deep breathing.

When a woman is given opiates during labor, it’s done so in small doses and during the early stages of labor, which helps prevent the risk of potential side effects for the mother and the child. The benefits of opioid pain relief during labor include the fact that they don’t numb the body, so they don’t impact the ability to push during labor, and they can reduce the mother’s anxiety during the process.

However, while there are benefits to fentanyl during labor or other opioids, there are possible side effects as well. Opioids are potent painkillers, and side effects can include nausea, vomiting, itching, dizziness, sedation, or even very serious side effects like hypoxia because of respiratory depression.

It’s also important for moms to realize that opiates do cross the placenta during labor, so there are possible side effects on the baby. For example, with fentanyl during labor or another type of opioid, the baby could experience central nervous system or respiratory depression, a decrease in natural ability to regulate body temperature, problems with early breastfeeding or changes in neurological behavior. If these happen, the baby might need naloxone to counteract the symptoms.

Along with fentanyl during labor, other common medicines include morphine, Stadol, Nubain, and Demerol.

The benefits of fentanyl during labor include minimal sedation and it works quickly, plus when it’s administered correctly it tends to have minimal effects on the baby as well.

Fentanyl during labor and other opioid pain medicines can be administered in different ways including injection into the spinal column, intravenously, or with a Patient Controlled Analgesia pump.

With fentanyl during labor and other opioids, it’s important that you speak with your doctor to ensure you choose the right one for you and the right delivery method. It’s also important that you consider your history with drugs or substance abuse because opioids have a high likelihood of abuse. If you’ve never had a problem in the past and you’re using them during labor, it’s not likely to be an issue, but if this is something you’ve struggled with, you should speak with your doctor about what’s best for you.

It’s also worth noting that opioids and painkillers given early during labor can slow the process, but waiting too long can have more of an impact on the baby.

Along with fentanyl during labor and other opioids, an epidural block also just known as an epidural is an option. This is one of the most common methods of pain relief used during childbirth, and medicine is given through a tube in the lower back. It causes a loss of feeling in the lower part of your body, but you’re also fully awake and cognizant of what you’re doing.

In most cases with an epidural, you can still push, although some women have trouble with the lack of sensation and feeling.

Some of the risks of an epidural can include the baby experiencing a change in heart rate, or drowsiness, but these side effects are usually short term. For the mother, it can result in a drop in blood pressure, fever, headache or soreness.

There are potentially serious side effects that can occur, but they’re very rare and include spinal cord or nerve injury, breathing problems if breathing muscles are affected, and numbness or tingling.

Opioids and epidurals aren’t the only routes for pain management during labor and delivery, but they are two of the most common general options that women can weigh when they’re making important childbirth decisions.

Fentanyl During Labor
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Fentanyl During Labor was last modified: June 28th, 2017 by The Recovery Village