Unique Pain Management Needs for Pregnant Women with Pre-existing PTSD and Other Mental Health Disorders
AbstractPurpose of ReviewThis review describes how the presence of maternal mental health disorders influences peripartum pain. It provides practical guidance for tailored anesthetic plans that address the unique needs of pregnant women with such disorders.Recent FindingsThe role of maternal mental health conditions in the peripartum experience and postpartum course for the mother-baby dyad is an evolving area of interest in the current psychiatric and obstetric literature. It is only recently, however, that providers are beginning to understand how pre-existing maternal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression influences how these patients perceive pain during labor or cesarean section. There is, unfortunately, a lack of understanding and consistency in the approach to pain management for these patients. Emphasis on recognition of these unique patient needs and tailoring of peripartum pain management strategies is crucial in helping to achieve a positive birth experience and minimize increased postpartum mental health symptom severity and/or chronic pain for these patients.SummaryPeripartum pain during labor and/or surgical delivery can be influenced by a pre-existing history of mental health conditions. Specialized pain assessment and management strategies should accommodate the unique needs of these patients.