Risks of sedating a baby
A pregnant woman will come into contact with trace concentrations of anesthetic gases in the air while working in an operating theater, and higher concentrations of these same drugs if she requires a surgical procedure under anesthesia during pregnancy.
Early in the 1970's concern arose about the possible effects of exposure to trace concentrations of gases upon the chance of miscarrying, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, or giving birth to an abnormal child.
Surgeons perform these non-obstetrical operations upon pregnant women only for serious conditions threatening the life of the mother, or conditions causing serious disability if not performed at that moment.Indeed, subsequent critical analyses of studies performed during the 1970's revealed many of them to be seriously flawed, rendering the conclusions of these studies very dubious indeed (Tannenbaum 1985, Mazze 1985, Buring 1985).And more recent studies fail to show any relationship between disturbances of pregnancy and trace concentrations of anesthetic gases at all (Mc Gregor 2000).So the effects of anesthesia on a pregnant woman and her unborn child are actually the combined effects of anesthesia together with surgery.
Up to 2% of all pregnant women require surgery for all manner of conditions unrelated to their pregnancy, e.g.As with the chances of miscarriage, the most optimal age range for any woman to have a baby is in her 20's.