Effects of Hydromorphone on pregnancy and breastfeeding

Pregnancy and breastfeeding is a completely different phase wherein a woman not only takes good care of her, but also cares for her baby. During this phase, apart from healthy and nutritional diet, she should take care of medications that she is using and how the drugs going to affect her baby.

In this article we will discuss about the effects of hydromorphone on pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Hydromorphone and pregnancy

Hydromorphone intersect the placenta causing fetal exposure. If you are pregnant and using Hydromorphone, you should tell your doctor to know how this drug is going to affect your pregnancy. Hydromorphone should be used during pregnancy only if the possible benefits are higher than the risks. If you are using Hydromorphone regularly during your pregnancy, there are chances that your baby may experience harmful withdrawal symptoms post birth.

The expecting mothers who take Hydromorphone regularly before their delivery can become dependent on the drug and the withdrawal signs may include

  • Tremors
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Excessive crying
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Increased stools

There are still no best methods discovered to manage withdrawal. To support treatment supportive care is given along with certain medications.

Hydromorphone and breastfeeding

Low levels of Hydromorphone are found in breast milk, which can lead to respiratory problems in new born babies. Hydromorphone should not be taken while breastfeeding as it is secreted in breast milk and can harm the baby. There is limited data available indicating that low doses of Hydromorphone are secreted in breast milk. Mothers using narcotic drugs during breastfeeding often results in infant death, drowsiness and depression of central nervous system. New born are sensitive to even low doses of narcotic drugs.

While breastfeeding it is better to manage pain using non narcotic medications and restrict the use of Hydromorphone for a couple of days to low doses and monitor the health of your baby closely.

If your baby shows some unusual signs like increased sleepiness, breathing problems, difficulty in breastfeeding or limpness, immediately contact your physician.

Sometimes nursing mothers have to undergo surgery after birth of their baby and they need narcotic analgesics during their surgery. They can arrange for nursing their new born prior to their surgery so that they can take some time to recover. They can consult their lactating consultant to help them suggest supplementary feedings or helping her arrange for a breast pump for temporary use. She can also opt to freeze supply of breast milk before undergoing a surgery.

Once the nursing mother recovers from surgery she can take care of her baby and be alert. She can also consult her doctor to prescribe her low doses of pain medications.

It is always better to be safe and not use narcotic medications during breastfeeding or pregnancy. You can also look for other alternative non narcotic drugs to treat pain. If you want to use narcotic drugs safely, consult your doctor for the right dosage. It will help you avoid complications that can be harmful for you and your baby.

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