I’m 28 1/2 weeks pregnant. Sooner or later, I will go into labor. Sure, a drug- free labor would be great, but if that isn’t possible, I’d like to know what drugs I could reasonably expect to get. I’m allergic to opiates, so any narcotic is out. I will, obviously, ask my doctor at my next visit, but I was wondering if anyone here knew of some drugs that might be tried, so I have some possible ideas for my doctor.
What non-narcotic drugs exist for pain management during labor? I want drugs, not accupuncture, TENS, or other non-drug therapies.
You don’t need to make any suggestions to your doctor; he/she has heard this question about a gazillion times and will have lots of possibilities to suggest.
Lamaze classes will be a big help; you may be surprised at how minimal the pain really can be. Fear and tension are huge contributors to pain of any kind. Learn to avoid and master these and you’ll be a good part of the way there.
Well, sure, but there is a possibility I’ll need meds anyway, which is why I was asking about drugs. Also, I may well need a cesarean and/or induction, both of which will likely require some amount of pain relief.
Virtually every laboring woman in the U.S. is offered an epidural during labor. They use local anesthetics to cause numbness from belly to toes leaving Mom wide awake. I had no opiates for my last two children and had no pain either thanks to early epidurals (both of those labors were induced).
Epidurals are also the medication of choice for all but the most urgent c-sections. If you need an emergency c-section due to a sudden life-or-death situation, you will be knocked out fast with general anesthesia unless you already have an epidural in place.
However, if you do have a c-section there is a fair amount of post-operative pain. Are you truly allergic to opiates? Nausea and itching are normal side effects of opiates. If they make you very nauseous you could request that you be given a good anti-nausea medication before the opiate and still use it for postoperative pain. Nausea lessens with repeated doses.
You’re allergic to ALL opiates? Have you tried to take all of them with the same reaction?
You CANNOT take NSAIDs (aspirin, motrin, ibuprofen, advil, naprosyn, aleve, naproxen, toradol, etc) during the last stages of pregnancy because of the risk of premature closure of the ductus arteriosus.
Have you talked to a a doctor of anesthesiology about this? He/she would know more than a general practitioner and probably more than an OB-GYN about this kind of thing. You should try to contact one on this issue.
Nitrous oxide can be a good choice for providing non-opiate pain relief during labour. There might also be a role for toradol or naproxen, lamaze/biofeedback/doula coaching, or sedatives. Talk to your doctor.