Are there any risks of anesthesia for expecting moms? Does it have any side effects? If these questions seem to trouble you, read this post.
It may be a minor dental procedure or a major surgery, anesthesia is extremely important for the success of a medical procedure. Now that you are pregnant, you want to avoid any undue risks for you unborn child. Read on and find out about anesthesia during pregnancy here.
Anesthesia During Delivery:
Doctors often use anesthesia during delivery to relieve any pain you may feel during childbirth or labor. Depending on your body type and how acute the pain is doctors may administer local, regional, or general anesthesia.
In most cases, doctors recommend avoiding anesthesia, but if needed, you need to choose the appropriate anesthetics. Some anesthetics can lead to mild side effects like low blood pressure, mild itching, headache and allergic reactions. If the effects are severe or become unmanageable, seek immediate medical aid (1).
Anesthesia For Other Procedures:
Studies on children conclude that babies born to mothers who had local anesthesia for dental procedures during pregnancy had a low birth weight. Moreover, children exposed to anesthesia during the first trimester of pregnancy exhibit a higher risk of neonatal behavioral changes.
A study by the American Journal of Public health reveals that anesthesia during the pregnancy can lead to many complications and even harm your baby, especially during the first trimester. Mothers who receive anesthesia during the initial pregnancy stages may give birth to babies with central nervous system defects. In addition, babies can also develop congenital cataracts and other eye defects like hydrocephalus.
Opt for a regional or local anesthesia while pregnant if you must to reduce the risk of your baby contracting conditions like cataracts and CNS defects.
[ Read: Is Ultrasound Safe During Pregnancy ]
Risks Of Anesthesia During Pregnancy:
You and your baby share a physical bond during pregnancy, the umbilical cord. The cord provides nutrition to your unborn baby and anything that impacts you can in turn affect your baby as well.
Some of the risks that accompany the use of anesthesia during pregnancy include:
- Higher risk of spontaneous abortion, especially if the surgery is carried out in the first or second trimester and is a gynecological procedure (2).
- The risk of maternal death is nearly double if you opt for general anesthesia in pregnancy, mostly due to difficulty with airway management.
- The use of anesthesia when pregnant could decrease uterine blood flow, which may be a cause of concern when it comes to your baby’s health. In addition, anesthesia can also lead to neonatal depression (3).
- Respiratory depression in your newborn, which may increase the risk of pneumonia. Pneumonia can be fatal for babies, and you need to make sure your little angel does not contract the condition.
- Anesthetics can lead to an increase in body toxicity, which can also lead to complications for expecting moms.
Is Anesthesia Safe During Pregnancy?
Typically, follow what your doctor has to say about pregnancy. If you are in the initial stages of your pregnancy, try to avoid any treatments that require local or general anesthesia. Let your doctor take a call here.
Depending on your health and other possible complications, your doctor will be the best person to guide you through alternative treatment options.
We hope that the post helps you learn of the risks of anesthesia during pregnancy. Have you come across any self-help tips or tricks, which made your surgical procedure easier? How was your experience? Did you suffer from any complications? Let us know in the comments box below. Fellow moms would love to hear from you.