Be informed about your medications

During your baby’s delivery, you might receive one or more of the following: medications to induce labor, painkillers, antibiotics, and antidiarrheals. You might also be given other medications, depending on your health and circumstances. Find out all the medications that will be administered and write them down, if possible.

Risks and drug reactions

  • Alert your health care team if you have any drug allergies or negative reactions.
  • Find out whether any of the medications have any side effects or drug interactions with medications you may already be taking.
  • Find out whether there are any risks (including long-term risks) of taking any of the medications to be administered.
  • Find out which medications (if any) are “required.”

Side effects

Many medications (particularly pain medications) affect your ability to be alert, awake, and/or appreciate what is happening around you. Ask how alert or lucid you will be during the time you are with your baby if you do take the medication recommended.

  • If you would prefer to be alert during your baby’s delivery and immediately afterwards, ask your practitioner what your options are for managing your pain.
  • Find out whether alternative medication is available that would allow you to be awake and remember the time with your baby, if that is what you want.


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Article by Kay Squires, with special thanks to Valerie, Holly, and Marion, and the members of the PROM mailing list
January 2005, updated July 2011