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Ban PethidinePethidine (known as Demerol in the USA) is a morphine based drug injected into mothers during labor. It can pass through the placenta and enter the baby's circulation effecting it's brain. Here is a quote regarding Demerol in general: Sufferers of moderate to severe pain often become dependent on Demerol. Dependence is another way of saying addicted.
"Crosses the placenta. Maternal addiction causes neonatal withdrawal. No adequate data in first trimester exposure but reported association with inguinal hernia, polydactyly and hypospadias. Causes neonatal respiratory depression if used in labor. Because of slow elimination of the drug from the neonate, impaired behavioral response and EEG changes may persist for several days."
http://www.midwifery.org.uk/pethidine.htm (page down?)
"A bit about my own experience of Pethidine.... I was given Pethidine when I was in labour. The midwife asked me how I was, I told her I was in pain (well, of course!!!) and she gave me Pethidine. At no point did she offer an alternative such as gas/air; she gave me an injection, no explanation. It was only afterwards she told me it was Pethidine, and that if I wanted any more I could ask them when I was moved to delivery suite. I was horrified!!! All it did for me really was to make me sleepy, and I did in fact sleep for an hour. And although I could feel the pain and knew full well that I was in labour, all I could think about was sleeping. It took a lot of willpower to fetch the midwife, who after examining me rushed me across to delivery suite, where I delivered within the next hour! (I am glad that I did let her know, as I am sure I may have given birth in my sleep otherwise, LOL!) Further to this I feel that Pethdine was partly responsible for my failure to breastfeed. My baby just would not latch on, and in fact drank nothing for the first 24 hours. He just wasn't interested, and this persisted for quite some time. In short, I really regret that I was given pethidine. I don't feel it helped with the pain. And I am convinced it affected my baby. Just my humble opinion..I have no qualifications to back this up, other than being a Mum!"