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Did you know that more than 1 in 3 women have C-section deliveries and 1 in 5 of those were unplanned? I had 3 C-sections myself, none of which were planned. More than half of C-section mothers are prescribed opioids for pain management. Opioids are medications that contain opiates as the active ingredient and are strong pain relievers that can be safe and effective if taken properly for a short period of time. When opioids are taken improperly or for too long, it is possible to become dependent on them. If you are like me, you might not pay attention to the type of medication your doctor prescribed you after surgery. The Plan Against Pain community and the Choices Matter Campaign are working to educate and prevent the overprescribing of opioids.
There are many concerns involved with taking opioids during and after childbirth as you can see in the infographic above (click here for a larger version). There are benefits of non-opioid pain relieving options following C-sections in that the side-effects such as constipation and dizziness will be reduced. More aggressive use of non-opioid pain relieving techniques may reduce the widespread dependence on opioids in the USA.
Multimodal pain relief means the use of different types of treatments to alleviate pain. The types of medication can be alternated, so you are not prescribed two high a dose of one medication. The current trend is to use non-opioid medications at the start of treatment to limit or eliminate the need for opioids. Other pain relieving options include IV and patient controlled analgesia, local anesthetics, electrical stimulation applied to the skin, and complementary or alternative medication such as acupuncture.
Before any upcoming surgery, you should talk to your doctor about a medication plan. Remember that your choices matter and when you plan against pain, you can avoid the over use of opioids in your recovery.
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