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Medication During Labor Correlated With Behavior and EEG of the Newborn

Agneta D. Borgstedt, MD; Mortimer G. Rosen, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(1):21-24. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010023004.
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SIGNIFICANT central nervous system (CNS) depression, as measured on the Apgar scale, has been observed in newborns when meperidine and secobarbital were given to their mothers one to two hours before delivery.1 Brazelton2 observed that compared to control infants of untreated mothers, newborns of mothers treated with barbiturates showed depressed alertness and increased disorganization and variability of neurological responses. Breast feeding was established more slowly and there was a delay in weight gain. Stechler3 found that compared with untreated controls, meperidine, alphaprodine, pentobarbital, and promethazine administered to mothers within 1½ hours of delivery, decreased the length of looking-time in visually stimulated infants; these effects persisted for four days. Kron et al4 observed that infants whose mothers had received 200 mg of secobarbital sodium intravenously had significantly lower sucking rates and pressures than infants in an untreated control group. These effects also persisted for about four days.


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