8.28.2007

LAY OFF THE DRUGS


The FDA recently issued a warning against codeine for nursing mothers. According to the warning, some mothers have been metabolizing the drug too quickly and as a result, it can kill the baby. When I heard this on NPR, I actually got pretty mad. I chose to have no drugs during Luke's birth, but after he was born I asked for just a little something to relieve the pain. They had that scale of pain on the wall, the one with all the funny cartoon faces. A nurse or doctor would come in every few hours and say, "Which face do you feel?" So, when I asked for a little pain reliever, they prescribed me this incredibly strong Tylenol with codeine. I never filled the prescription because a) I was too lazy and it didn't hurt that bad and b) I was afraid of anything that strong going through my breast milk to the baby. I just stuck to extra strength Tylenol and I was fine.

My point is that hospitals love to prescribe super strong codeine to new mothers. If codeine affects new babies, what other drugs have similar effects? I realize that sometimes you are in a lot of pain and drugs are great. I was hyped up on pain medication when my wisdom teeth were removed and it was totally awesome.

However, there are a lot of old wives' tales regarding breastfeeding and pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Luke, I was given a book by my Ob Gyn that said I shouldn't blow dry my hair while I was pregnant. (She told me to ignore that part of the book.) I also had a doctor tell me not to color or highlight my hair while I was pregnant. Then I heard that was a lie. I had another doctor tell me that keeping everything as natural as possible while breastfeeding and pregnant was the best thing to do. He had done landmark studies about deodorant and perfume causing infertility and miscarriages. He only allowed his staff and patients to wear Tom's of Maine deodorant. (Did he have a deal with Tom's of Maine?) Ironically enough, this "natural" doctor was the same one that gave me an ultrasound every other week. Then there are some people that think ultrasounds hurt the fetus too. It's hard to know what to believe anymore.

I often wonder if doctors love to prescribe certain drugs (like codeine) because of all the kickbacks they receive from the drug companies. I see those free pens they use with the drug company's logo blasted across the side - don't tell me that doesn't influence what they choose to prescribe to patients.

So, as a breastfeeding mother, I am now super paranoid that any drug I take (except Tylenol) will affect my child. This makes for a miserable existence when I am sick and I really have no clue how well founded my fears are.

I'll get off my soap box now. Thanks for listening.

10 comments:

  1. After I had Milana my doctor prescribed Motrin and Percocett for cramping. When the cramping became uncomfortable later in the day I pushed the nurse call button and requested some Motrin. She showed up over a half hour later with Percocett in her hand. I explained that I wanted Motrin and she said that if the Percocett didn't help then she would give me Motrin. Duh! Of course Percocett would help, its a strong narcotic! I was so annoyed that she was pushing drugs, later I told my doctor about the incident and she was pretty upset as well. Sorry, I know its long, but I wanted a turn on the soapbox!

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  3. I haven't taken tums my whole pregnancy because when I looked it up online, a website said it was bad for you during your pregnancy. My Acid Reflux was so bad, and I thought there was nothing to do about it. Then Zach learned in school, as well as asked my doctor and they both said it was totally fine! I don't know what to believe anymore. I also heard caffiene was bad to drink during pregnancy, I haven't had a sip for 9 months! A pregnant friend of mine drinkas coke and energy drinks everyday...

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  4. Don't get me started on this soap box! I was so careful even back in 1976 when I was pregnant with Kirsten...I've seen so many opinions and how the "experts" change their minds on things...I'm a big fan of avoiding drugs as much as possible...especially when a baby is involved. I didn't want 20-30 years to go by and find out that something I had taken was unsafe for my unborn or nursing child....we've seen it before!

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  5. I feel the same way and I sort of think there is one big cospiracy. Thanks a lot Michael Moore. Seriously, I wish more mothers were more informed instead of so trusting, myself included.

    Valerie-- that's so annoying! I'm glad that you said something to your doctor

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  6. After I had Carson, all I got at the hospital was a bottle of ibuprofin. My doctor told me to take that or Tylenol if I was in pain. You guys need to come have your children in Virginia I guess.

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  7. I had lots of drugs due to having major surgery at the same time so. Ya it sucks and so far Annabella is okay. But she really didn't get breast milk for about a week after she was born and well I was pretty much on motrin after that. I also drank Coke and only Coke while I was pregnant. I was so sick and well a Coke seemed to calm my stomach. The Doctor said that it was okay as long as I only drank one a day. So I drank it slowly.....

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  8. Hmm. I understand not wanting to hurt your unborn child or infant, but I also called my doctor about everything or asked the lactation consultant when I wasn't sure. I took Unisom, Zantac and Sudafed (at different times)when I was pregnant. They were all approved by my doctor. I also took some Percocet when I was recovering from Jackson, and I was pumping then, too. He eventually got that milk, and he's fine. It's so hard to know what's good and what's not when things are changing all of the time. If I go back and look at things that may have happened during my pregnancies, I could have a real guilt trip seeing how they all turned out. So I have to trust that my doctor was right so I don't have a nice long bout of depression.

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  9. Dude your hilarious!! Add our family to your links man- I want to be apart of your radical link group!

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  10. It's so frustrating that their is conflicting information all the time about what's safe during pregnancy and nursing. My guess is that there aren't a ton of people ready to jump at the chance of being in a study during pregnancy... but I don't know. As for me, I didn't take much pain killer after I had Kaitlyn (she weighed seven and a half pounds). I just took the ibuprofen and saved the vicodin for Nate's occasional migraines. However, after I had Gavin, I had to ask for an extra refill (he was over nine pounds and my recovery was excruciatingly painful... I'll spare you the gory details). Even the super strong pain killer wasn't strong enough! I hope it didn't cause any lasting effects...

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