Pain management in pregnancy is more complex than pain management in other cases. Though pregnant women often experience various aches and pains, managing this discomfort with the help of medication can be challenging for several reasons. One, the health and development of the fetus may be influenced by the drugs, and two, pregnant women’s bodies absorb and process medications differently than non-pregnant patients.
Experts such as Harvey Finkelstein are familiar with the potential risks associated with common pain management medications, and are equipped to help mothers-to-be manage their various pregnancy pains with minimal risk to themselves and their fetuses. The most commonly used pain medications in pregnancy include acetaminophen, NSAIDs, opioids, benzodiazepines, steroids, antidepressants, local anesthetics and anticonvulsants. Also used are migraine medications such as caffeine, sumatriptan, beta blockers and ergot alkaloids.
There are also a number of alternative techniques to manage pain during pregnancy. Many women find that ice or hot water bottles can effectively relieve and reduce muscle and joint pain, as can massage, light activity, pregnancy yoga or Pilates and various other exercises and stretches. Some women are also able to take a more psychological approach to pain management by learning about the causes of different sensations and understanding their importance throughout their pregnancy. Some aches and pains can even help a woman prepare herself and her body for labor and post-partum discomfort.