Health Risks to Your Baby When Using Medication During Delivery

Health Risks to Your Baby When Using Medication During Delivery

Labor and delivery. They are not exactly pain free experiences. Many women opt to use narcotic or other pain medication during delivery in order to relieve some of the pain. However, there are sometimes risks involved when using pain medication during labor and delivery. Read on for more information. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here


The epidural is one of the most common pain medications during pregnancy. The epidural block is given via injection and kills most pain in the lower part of the body without significantly slowing labor. The risks are that the epidural might decrease a woman’s blood pressure, and can affect a baby’s heart rate.

Spinal Block

A spinal block provides complete pain relief in the lower body for a few hours. It is used normally before a c-section. The good thing about a spinal block is that it usually has little to no effect on the baby, which makes it a popular choice.


There are many different narcotic pain medications which are used to dull the pain during labor and delivery. Narcotics decrease the perception of pain but do not relieve pain. They can temporarily depress breathing for both mom and baby.


Opiates are a type of analgesic narcotic given to relieve pain. Opiates are given in small doses and usually administered during the early stages of labor in an attempt to avoid potential side effects for both the mother and baby. Opiates do cross the placenta during labor and can affect the baby. Opiates during labor and delivery can cause central nervous system depression, respiratory depression, impaired early breastfeeding, altered neurological behavior, and decreased ability to regulate body temperature in newborns.


While once a popular choice in delivery rooms, morphine has not been used regularly in recent years. This is because of evidence that morphine depresses a baby’s ability to breathe. It is not used anywhere near as often as it used to be.


It is rare that tranquilizers are used during labor and delivery, but sometimes they are used to promote relaxation and relieve anxiety during labor. Tranquilizers don’t eliminate pain. They might cause drowsiness, decrease your memory of labor, and decrease your baby’s muscle tone and activity at birth.

If you have any questions about pain relief and medications during labor and delivery, be sure to ask your doctor. It is very important that women know exactly what the potential dangers or side effects are when putting any medication into their body. Your doctor can give you the full run down of all benefits and risks of any drug that you might consider taking during labor and delivery.

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