A C-section delivery involves making two surgical incisions–one in the abdominal surface and another into the uterus– to scoop up the baby. As opposed to a vaginal delivery, a C-section procedure requires a lot more precaution and strong medication to mend the pain that follows. While a mother may have concerns that the opioids might pose danger to their newborn, a new study has dismissed the fears by saying they barely cause any side effects to a nursing baby.
In the study, published in the British Medical Journal, researchers explained codeine and morphine, which are mild in nature, are generally prescribed after a C-section. The opioids indeed pass into the breast milk, but in amounts that don’t mean harm to the children. However, doctors are still in the process of finding out whether opioids in breast milk itself are a cause of concern.
To elucidate more on this, doctors look at eight years’ worth of healthcare data concerning 865,691 mother-infant pairs discharged from Canadian hospitals within seven days of delivery from Sept. 1, 2012, to March 31, 2020. Out of them, 85,852 mothers filled an opioid prescription within seven days of discharge and 538,815 did not.
Doctors did a contrasting study between the two groups and found that around 81% of mothers in the matched cohort underwent C-sections. Among those who were prescribed opioids, 42% received oxycodone, 20% codeine, 19% morphine, and 12% hydromorphone, to be had within three days.
The researchers scrutinized the infants for 30 days for health hazards or hospital, NICU, or readmissions and found that out of all the children hospitalized within 30 days of birth, figures were relatively high for infants of mothers who weren’t given the opioids (3,038) as compared to those who were born to mothers who took the opioids (2,962). No infant deaths occurred in either group, Medical Express reported.
“Findings from this study suggest no association between maternal opioid prescription after delivery and adverse infant outcomes, including death,” the study’s authors said, adding that it was solely meant to establish that opioids don’t cause health hazards to infants of breastfeeding mothers.