Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Codeine not safe for all breastfeeding moms

Pain-killers containing codeine may not be safe for all breastfeeding mothers, according to a recent study at the University of Western Ontario. As you're probably aware, approximately 30% of women end up with a C-section (and another 30% or so with an episiotomy) so prescription pain relief is routinely administered to new moms.
An infant recently died after an overdose of morphine he received from his mother's milk. The good news is that this is extremely rare; most babies bounce back quickly when they are no longer exposed to the morphine in their mother's milk.
In my opinion this is just another really convincing reason to try and lower the C-section rate, as well as encourage and support women to give birth without drugs. It is possible! Women have been stripped of their power in this arena and made to feel as if they can't do what their bodies were built to do without drugs, IVs, monitors and episiotomies. I truly believe that for most women, a hospital birth is overkill and the myriad medical interventions too intrusive.
If you end up with a C-section you really do need the pain medication, but it's probably worth it to try and take as little as possible for the shortest time possible. If you've had an episiotomy, skip the drugs and opt for ice packs and sprays and foams, like EpiFoam or Dermoplast.

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