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Doctors helping new moms who have c-sections recover with fewer opioids

Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 10, 2021

Doctors are helping new moms who have c-sections recover with fewer opioids to control their pain.

Jessica Wongward delivered her son by c-section in December at 34 weeks.

Doctors at Children's Hospital Colorado inserted a wound infusion pump to help her control the pain from the surgery.

The pump delivers medication to the entire wound and allows new moms like Wongward to worry about their baby, and not be overwhelmed with pain or require opioids.

“So, our obstetricians at the time of c-section will place this little piece of fishing line underneath the incision and connect it to a ball of basically a numbing agent, so medications that are not opiate medications that kind of anesthetize the area there and it will infuse for two days,”’ said Dr. Cristina Wood at Colorado Children’s Hospital.

“Even hours later sleeping at night, I really, you know, didn't feel that incision pain, which was the thing that I was most afraid of and worried would be really painful,” said Wongward.

Jessica says she did not need any opioids for her pain. She says she managed the pain with the pump and by taking ibuprofen and Tylenol.

Wood says the pump is very simple to insert and provides a low-risk, high-benefit for mothers during recovery.

“We found an almost 30% reduction in opiate pain use post-operatively and then we kind of furthered that study to involve some other post-operative strategies to see if we could reduce that more,” said Wood.

“I was so grateful that I wasn't worried about pain and taking opiates and feel maybe a little cloudy. I wanted to be there and present with my baby,” said Wongward.

Wood says the wound infusion pump combined with other post-op therapies like taking Tylenol and ibuprofen and getting mom out of bed allowed them to reduce narcotic use by 80%.