Pain Managemet in Pregnancy: Dr. Harvey Finkelstein

Pain Management PregnancyPain 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.

Perplexed Peberdy Preggers

Giving Birth without Realizing Pregnancy

It always seems like it’s an urban myth but it actually happened to svelte Lauren Peberdy. A size 8 (size 4 in America), Peberdy was “stunned” when she went to the bathroom to find herself delivering a healthy 8lb 7oz baby boy as her waters broke and Dylan-James came out. She was simply sitting on the toilet when she felt “something drop.” Gavin’s mother was called in who saw a baby’s head and five minutes later Dylan-James was out.

Just two weeks before she had been to the doctor for a contraceptive pill check-up and the doctor had checked her weight and blood pressure which were fine.

Initially 20-year-old Lauren from Deeside, North Wales, had no clue what was happening and actually thought she was “dying.” But what actually happened instead was that she delivered the baby five minutes before the paramedics arrived, “on the bathroom floor.” Lauren’s 21 year old fitness instructor boyfriend Gavin Jones was even more shocked! He hadn’t noticed any symptoms or signs in his girlfriend, who was also taking the contraceptive pill.

Dylan Doing Well

But things have gone surprisingly well since the birth three months ago. Dylan-James is living with him mum at her parents’ home “and the two make frequent visits to Gavin, who lives nearby with his own parents.” But Lauren and Gavin are looking for a place to set up home together with their child who is described as being very easy.

Warnings for Pregnant Women Eating Licorice

Few pregnant women would think to take licorice off of their diet, but a recent study at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital and the University of Helsinki shows that it may be wise to do so. Apparently, children exposed to licorice in the womb were found, during this study, to have up to one-third higher levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.

Mothers were asked how much licorice they ate during pregnancy, and the children were then tested at the age of 8 for coritsol levels. Children with higher cortisol levels had mothers who ate a half a gram of licorice a week or more during pregnancy.

Twizzlers Black Licorice has issued a warning about glycyrrhizic acid on its website. They state, “In excessive amounts, glycyrrhizic acid has been associated with undesirable side-effects including headache, sodium and water retention, loss of potassium, high blood pressure, and heart irregularities.”

Timing a Pregnancy Post-Miscarriage

People in the medical profession, and regular couples, have long tried to figure out the secret to healthy conception after a miscarriage.  Certainly, most couples who miscarry feel a sense of loss and frustration, and they are eager to try again quickly.  But, is this the most advantageous idea?  Or is it healthier for the mother and fetus to wait awhile before trying again?

A new study by researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland suggests that women may actually have more success with a pregnancy if they get pregnant quickly after a miscarriage.  The scientists found that women who conceived within six months of a miscarriage had better chances of having a successful and full-term pregnancy than did women who conceived later.

Interestingly, this is contrary to an earlier study from Latin American that found that women should wait more than six months after miscarrying; and, this earlier study formed the basis of the World Health Organization’s 2005 recommendations that women put off a pregnancy for six months after miscarrying.

This Scottish study is the first attempt to provide better data for the optimal timing of pregnancy.  The World Health Organization has called for more studies on conception after miscarriage, and this study certainly shows an important beginning to this research.