General, Research, Technology

Anesthesia during childbirth can trigger the development of mental illness

For many people, having a baby is considered one.of the happiest moments of family life. However, during childbirth, women experience unthinkable pain, which in some cases has to be relieved by anesthesia. Especially often, local or general anesthesia is used during cesarean section, the essence of which is to remove the newborn through a special incision on the uterus. Thanks to anesthesia, childbirth is easier, however, judging by the results of a study by scientists from the US state of New York, in some cases, painkillers can provoke the development of mental illness in women. In particular, we are talking about postpartum depression, during which mothers have suicidal thoughts.

If possible, during childbirth it is necessary to do not general anesthesia, but local anesthesia

The results of the study werepublished in the scientific journal Anesthesia and Analgesia. At the disposal of scientists were data on 428 204 women who underwent Caesarean section in a hospital in New York from 2006 to 2013. Among them were 34,356 mothers who underwent general anesthesia, while the rest preferred local anesthesia. As it turned out, postpartum depression was mostly diagnosed in women who were under general anesthesia.

At general anesthesia most of the human muscles are paralyzed and require mechanical ventilation. At local anesthesia an analgesic effect occurs only in the area where surgery is performed.

The consequences of general anesthesia

Based on the foregoing, scientists came tothe conclusion that general anesthesia can greatly affect the emotional state of mothers. What exactly this is connected with, they do not know yet, but statistics clearly prove that those who underwent a cesarean section in an unconscious state subsequently more often suffer from postpartum depression. This mental disorder is characterized by frequent lack of mood, causeless tearfulness, irritability, anxiety and the emergence of suicidal thoughts.

See also: Why did the birth in antiquity go much easier?

To treat this condition, usuallyantidepressants and psychotherapy sessions are used. If you do not stay under the constant supervision of doctors, you may be at risk of developing bipolar personality disorder. This mental disorder also has very unpleasant symptoms that can haunt a person throughout life. Indeed, with this disease, people alternately are either depressed or in a state of difficultly controlled mania.

Artist Vincent Van Gogh suffered from bipolar personality disorder

The researchers eventually decided thatthanks to their discovery, doctors know which women should be closely monitored after childbirth. It is possible that in the near future, mothers who undergo a caesarean section will be offered psychotherapy sessions that will protect them from the possible occurrence of mental disorders. Indeed, the development of the child depends very much on the emotional state of the mother. Numerous studies have shown that maternal depression can cause social and mental problems in a child.

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In the future, scientists want to continue research inthis direction and find out exactly how general and local anesthesia affects the condition of expectant mothers. There is a likelihood that postpartum depression occurs due to a pain syndrome that intensifies after anesthesia. Whether it is true or not, researchers have yet to figure out.