Reaction to Postpartum Anesthesia

Childbirth is a real and true milestone in a person’s life. Depending on the way the woman gave birth, even more, because if it is necessary to use anesthesia at the time of the procedure, it can cause some type of reaction to postpartum anesthesia that we will never forget. However today, the anesthetics are the normal delivery or cesarean delivery , very secure safe . Before when it was necessary to use certain chemicals that could cause allergies and some reactions that led to an uncertain outcome, nowadays, due to the evolution of medicine, anesthetics have become quite efficient, safe for the condition of pregnancy and almost no reaction for mom and baby.

However, the reaction to postpartum anesthesia does exist, less frequently and less intensely, it is true. We must remember that most symptoms after the procedure are linked to anesthesia, but it is not always the cause. But the discomfort that can arise, it can be a reason for several women to delay receiving anesthesia at the time of normal delivery, or even to rethink a cesarean section for fear of anesthesia. Mainly because of the myths that emerged around the anesthetic procedure.

What are the types of anesthesia?

The anesthesias most frequently used in childbirth are spinal and epidural. The most frequent spinal cesarean section, because it completely blocks the sensation of the region to be cut for the procedure, in addition to temporarily paralyzing the lower limbs. The epidural, on the other hand, is softer in the block, with which it is possible to do any procedure without feeling pain on the part of the patient, but it is still possible to feel some movements even if smoothly.

Sporadically, general anesthesia is used, only in extreme cases where the patient’s body does not accept spinal or epidural anesthesia. Blocking anesthesia, spinal and epidural, are used to keep the mother awake during childbirth, while general anesthesia makes the patient sleep during the procedure. So, now that we know the applied anesthesia, what are the normal and expected reactions after the anesthesia?

Headaches

This is a very common reaction, although it has reduced the incidence of post-spinal headache, the headache happens not because of the anesthesia itself, nor because of lifting the head , but because of the thickness of the needle that injected the substance in the spine. Despite being uncomfortable, post-spinal headache is harmless and treated only as a symptom. The treatment is a lot of hydration and rest and adequate pain reliever for each case. The headache after anesthesia happens to a large extent in childbirths of young women.

Itch

The body does not have the reaction exactly to anesthesia. However, to control pain during the procedure, small amounts of morphine are sometimes used , which will cause itching after delivery. Itching after childbirth can affect parts of the body or everywhere. It is also possible to feel sensitivity where the seam of the clothes touch, the bra, the base of the panties, the elastics of the clothes etc. it is possible that the woman feels a very itchy face, between the nose (mainly), chin, cheeks and forehead. This reaction will certainly pass after a few hours after the effect of the medication.

Dizziness

After a few hours of taking the anesthesia, you will certainly get up to take a shower etc. However, dizziness can get in the way a lot. You may experience symptoms of very intense dizziness, to the point of not being able to stand. This is a more common post-anesthesia effect in older women, over 35, but it is possible to appear in people with a history of labyrinthitis as well. The effect happens after long hours lying down . The fluid that makes the balance in the body is greatly altered by the same position and dizziness is enhanced by anesthesia.

Shaking

Is it cold here or is it my impression? It is common to have uncontrollable tremors after the application of anesthesia, both spinal and epidural. The tremor happens not because of the cold, but because the anesthetic reaches the nervous part of the body. As it works by removing the sensitivity, it can eventually cause small spasms for a short period after application. It is also possible to have tremors due to the loss of heat that anesthesia causes in the body. Hence, shivering is absolutely normal.

Pressure fall

Feeling unwell when getting up for the first time is normal. Therefore, after the anesthesia passes its effect on the body, nurses bring a very light meal, but capable of preventing a drop in pressure. Although it is possible to get around, sometimes a pressure drop is inevitable, so it is recommended that the patient sit for 15 or 20 minutes before getting up to bathe or for any other purpose. To avoid pressure drop, the method used is hydration with serum even before the patient gets up.

Swelling and Fluid Retention

Retaining fluid after anesthesia is extremely common. Mainly because the application of anesthesia is linked to the extreme hydration of serum during the procedure. It is possible for an adult woman during childbirth to receive an infusion of 5 liters or more of serum to avoid possible negative reaction by the body to combat anesthesia. The feet may have swelling, as well as the hands, belly, legs and face. The swelling will pass over the days and as the body eliminates excess fluids through the urine or even a lymphatic drainage.

Sickness

Nausea can happen immediately after the application of anesthesia. However, it is also common and doctors are prepared if it happens. Nausea does not happen exactly through anesthesia, but with the help of it. The weight of the body on top of the vein responsible for carrying oxygen, the vena cava, can result in dizziness, low pressure and nausea. Do not worry and tell the doctor to help correct this symptom with the help of an appropriate medication.

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See Also: My Childbirth Recovery Experience

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My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.

Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

Dr. Alexis Hart

My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother. Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.

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