Need help understanding drugs used in c-section - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-06-2009, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I had an unplanned c-section with my 2nd child, and I don't remember anything about his birth from the time I was given the spinal to waking up in recovery 2 hours after the section. I've reviewed my medical records but there is not much detail about what I was given. I'm pregnant again, planning a vbac, but this time I'd like to be more educated about what is standard procedure to be given through an iv, including anesthesia & antibiotics. I didn't know I had had antibiotics until baby was 3 months old and developed thrush. I asked the midwife and she said of course you were given antibiotics! Most of all, I don't want to not remember my baby's birth so I'd like to avoid whatever cocktail I was given. I didn't have much pain afterwards and never took pain meds after I went I think I must have been given some intense painkillers through the iv in the beginning.

What is standard and what is recommended for c-sections as far as drugs?
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#2 of 5 Old 03-06-2009, 12:15 PM
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That you "woke up in recovery" suggests to me that the spinal was inadequate and you ended up with some degree of general anesthesia/sedation/IV narcotics. A good block does not blur your memory or awareness; IV meds do.

You want intraoperative antibiotics. The risk of infection is significantly decreased. One dose of a cephalosporin within one hour prior to incision is standard practice.

If you had a spinal, it almost certainly had intrathecal narcotic (probably morphine) in it. This is fine; it's not what makes women sleepy for the most part, and it gives excellent pain control.

If you want to know what you got in surgery, you need the anesthesia records and the nursing perioperative summary or notes. It will quite probably not be in the surgeon's operative notes.

mama to Max (2/02) and Sophie (10/06); wife to my fabulous girl
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#3 of 5 Old 03-06-2009, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, that helps. I thought I had all the notes from my c-section, but I'll specifically request the above & see what I can find out. I am extremely sensitive to drugs (usually half a dose of whatever an average sized person would have is enough for me) so I don't take them, but during a c-section I know I don't have a choice.
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#4 of 5 Old 03-06-2009, 01:57 PM
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It is standard procedure in some hospitals to administer a strong sedative/IV Narcotic once the baby is out. This can really knock a mom out for hours, and she will have hazy/no memory of the surgery itself, and potentially not be mentally *present* to meet the baby in recovery. Since the "putting everything back together" part is the long part of the surgery, having you sedated is easier on the surgeon & staff.

I have had some clients specifically request no sedative after the baby is out, and gotten that agreed to, and some were simply ignored and drugged anyway.

Every hospital's protocols are different, so you may need to talk to the anesthesia dept directly to get the scoop on yours.

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#5 of 5 Old 03-08-2009, 04:21 AM
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I agree with the other posters - make sure to get your anesthesia records. They aren't usually as easy to read, but you can probably at least get an idea on what meds were used. Every anesthesiologist is different in what they like to use in their mix (I had 2 anesthesiologists because I was metabolizing the medication so quickly). After I read through my records I met with one of the anesthesiologists and talked it over with him and his information was extremely helpful!
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