The Dangers of Pain Medication After Pregnancy

Most people have heard stories about people who become addicted to drugs or some other substance but what about the dangers of pain medication addiction? From illegal drugs to prescription drugs and from caffeine to sugar there are many things that people can become reliant on just to get through the day. Unlike many of the other addiction, pain medication addiction can happen to even the most disciplined person because it is more about dealing with pain and getting addicted to the result. The dangers of pain medication after a surgery is great and can often lead to potential addiction, as seen in a personal story my sister. B.J. shared with me.

Pain Medication is Good and Necessary

B.J. had a rough pregnancy with her first child and ended up in the hospital for almost two months in ICU fighting for her life and the life of her child. Despite the best efforts her son was born almost 2 months early via emergency C-section. Without that surgery B.J. and her child both would have died, so it was indeed a life saving surgery and was very necessary. She had to have strong pain medication afterwards to deal with the pain. It helped keep her pain at a tolerable level, though she was still in a lot of pain. This is where the dangers of pain medication is not so obvious.

Dangers of Pain Medication and Addictions

B.J.’s son was in intensive care for over a month after he was born, and had a lot of health problems. Knowing that she wanted to give her son the best chance she could for survival, B.J. wanted to have her son fed only breast milk. However there was a problem she soon had to face and struggle through. The pain pills they had her on were some of the strongest they could give her- which meant there would be large amount of it in the breast milk- which would not have been good for her son. B.J. tried to get through without the pain medication but could not. The pain was too much for her to bear without the medication and she couldn’t even get out of bed to see her son in the NICU. It tore her up inside and she worried about what the long term effects would be not for her so much but for her newborn son.

Being Wise About Pain Medication Use

So what did she do? B.J. was able to go to a half dose of the medication, taking it only every other time that she could. She continued to feed her son and supplemented some formula to make sure he was not getting a large dose of the pain medication in his system. She stopped taking the pain meds by the time her son was a week old and suffered through the pain with only basic OTC medication. Her son is now two years old and appears to have suffered no ill effects from the pain medication he got while in the hospital in intensive care. This is something B.J. is now speaking passionately about and is trying to raise awareness of the dangers of pain medication for newborns.