(KUTV) It’s no surprise that women experience pain following childbirth. However, it’s important to minimize a new mom’s exposure to narcotics; and in most cases, postpartum pain can be managed without the use of opioids.
“One of the most vulnerable times for a woman to become addicted to narcotics is postpartum,” says Dr. Chris Hutchinson, OBGYN at Intermountain Riverton Hospital.
Being a new mom can bring a rollercoaster of emotions – from joy and happiness – to fatigue, lack of sleep, and even depression.
“It’s a happy occasion for the most part, but it is an exhausting – physically and emotionally – occasion which makes you very vulnerable,” says Dr. Hutchinson.
Every childbirth case is unique, but Dr. Hutchinson says for the average delivery, there’s no need for opioids.
“The utilization of them should be the last resort in many cases. You can get the same pain control with a combination of Ibuprofen and Tylenol,” says Dr. Hutchinson.
Opioid addiction is a big problem here in Utah. Out of 50 states, Utah is number 7 when it comes to overdose death. This is why it’s so important to limit exposure for both mom and baby whenever possible.
“When you breastfeed, obviously whatever goes into mom, part of it gets filtered through but some of it makes it into the breastmilk,” says Dr. Hutchinson.
If you are in pain, you don’t have to suffer. Talk with your provider because there are many ways to manage pain and provide relief – it’s just about deciding what’s best for you.
“What are the other options that I have? Can I do something that’s not going to get into my breastmilk and give my child the same opioid that I’m taking?” says Dr. Hutchinson.