This May, to celebrate Women’s Health Month, mother and fitness leader, Gabby Reece joined women’s health expert and OB/GYN, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, along with members of the media in New York City for a candid conversation about childbirth and opioids. The discussion centered around recent survey findings revealing nearly 9 in 10 mothers have concerns about taking opioids during and after childbirth. Despite these concerns, more than half of patients who had a Caesarean section (C-section) were prescribed an opioid.

The research also shed new light on a variety of fears C-section patients had related to using opioids during and following childbirth. Among the top concerns was the impact opioids may have on their ability to breastfeed, as well as the drug’s effect on their newborn  a concern shared by 55 percent of C-section patients. Additionally, 54 percent were concerned about drug side effects, 37 percent were concerned about their ability to be fully present for their new baby while taking opioids and 24 percent feared drug addiction or dependence.

Media in attendance included Women’s Health, Romper, Bustle, The Daily Mail, Prevention, Kiwi, Healthline, Thrillist among others. Attendees learned about Gabby’s personal experience with her two C-sections and how she managed her pain without taking opioids. She encouraged the audience to be advocates for their own health and to know their options for managing pain. Dr. Dweck was able to provide her firsthand perspective as a practicing OB/GYN with over 20 years of experience. She emphasized the importance of having conversations with your doctor about pain management prior to childbirth. She also encouraged women to ask about available non-opioid options.

The survey findings reiterated the importance of cultivating better communication between patients and surgeons regarding all available postsurgical pain management options. The survey was conducted by Moms Meet, a division of May Media Group, LLC and is part of the Choices Matter campaign. To learn more about the findings from the survey and to download an infographic about opioids and childbirth click here.