Friday, October 25, 2013

In a Drug-Loving Culture, We Welcome our Babies with Their First 'High'

Warning: This is most definitely an opinion piece!

Surprisingly, FOUR out of FIVE babies in the U.S. are born on drugs.

WHAT!?!?! 80% of our tiny fragile human babies are born on drugs!?!?

Yep! Even though we live in a country that spends countless trillions of dollars on the "drug-war"... if the government says it's illegal, we'll judge you for using it and lock you up in prison, but if a pharmaceutical company manufactured that dangerous drug, well, then we'll stand in line to take it and even give it to our babies.

...hypocrites much???

So where are these babies getting their first high?

From their doctors and mothers, of course!

Opiods, such as Fentanyl and Meperidine (Demerol), are pretty hard-core drugs which are frequently used in the management of labor pain. In fact, the Listening to Mothers Survey III (2013) reported that over 67% of mothers received an epidural and another 16% received another opiod medication (often as an injection), such as Demerol.

Unfortunately, however, it is hard to know what drugs these women and babies actually received in their epidural since Anesthesiologists can create their own drug-concoction :(
... and the mass experimentation on women and babies continues.

I spent quite a bit of time researching the ingredients of epidurals and could only find information on what drugs MAY be in your epidural... some info here and here. It is likely, though, that in 2013 all women receive some form of an opiod in their epidural. (note: some women complain of failing drug tests within a few days after they deliver... if you had an epidural you were likely on some serious drugs!)

Opiods can be dangerous drugs and we are overwhelmingly exposing our babies without any regard for what this experience may do to them psychologically.

Not only do opiods lead to high-tolerance very quickly (meaning that you need more and more of the drug to have the same pain numbing effect), but they can also lead to problems in a newborn, such as withdrawal, problems latching onto the breast, respiratory distress, fetal heart rate variability (and "emergency cesareans"), increased need for instrumental delivery and episiotomies (

Not as surprisingly, considering we happily drug our babies, the number of individuals using, abusing, and over-dosing on prescription pain pills is increasing rapidly in the U.S. In 2008, over 36,000 people died from drug overdoses (tripled from 1990) and almost 3 out of 4 of these deaths were from prescription painkillers, specifically opiods (CDC).  
(No one has ever died from Marijuana overdose... just sayin!)

"Welcome, baby, to our prescription drug-abusing country, where we'll usher you in with your first high."

...seems like a plug for the pharmaceutical industry. Get 'em early and they'll be addicted for life!

It just seems wrong.

I'm not saying epidurals aren't useful, I am advocating for awareness of a possible problem.

Could our birth practices be contributing to our "prescription drug-abusing culture"? Are there bigger consequences to drugging our babies?

~Wisdom and Birth

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