Avoiding Addiction: Doctors turning to opioid alternatives to treat pain after C-sections

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Opioid painkillers are often what the doctor orders for new moms after they have a C-section to ease the post-delivery pain, but the drugs could set them up for the problem of addiction.

Medical experts say it's critical to have options to keep patients and their babies safe. Many of them have long been in search of non-opioid alternatives to help new mothers feel better faster and focus even quicker on their newborns.

A recent study says prescribing drugs this way for C-sections puts 21,000 women at risk each year of becoming chronic opioid users.

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The ON-Q Pain Management System is one of those alternatives.

The non-narcotic pump automatically and continuously delivers a regulated flow of local anesthetic to a patient’s surgical site or even close to nerves, providing targeted pain relief for up to five days.

It has a controller that allows the flow of medication to be adjusted or changed according to each patient’s needs or requirements.

New mom Katrina Bowman said it was one of the best decisions she’s made.

“It allows for a clearer mind for mom. It allows for no altered mental status for the baby, so that they’re not getting things passed through the breast milk," she said.

Avanos, the manufacturer of ON-Q Pain Management System tells 10TV that 50 doctors are actively using it for their C-section patients in Ohio. Twenty doctors just got on board last year.