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Dec 192012
 

Epidural side effects and risks, are there any? If so, do you know what they are? Since the very first epidural in 1885 which was  injected with cocaine no less, we have been told that they are safe.

Nowadays, in the United States, more than 2/3 of  women submit to one. This statistic does include women who must have c-sections  as well as over 59% of women who deliver vaginally. You must know at least one person who received an epidural during childbirth.

Maybe  it was you.

Before you consented and the  form was signed was  the person made aware of all the risks?

Sadly, most of the time, the answer to this question is no.

Most women sign on the dotted line without ever being told about epidural risks or epidural complications. They are only told  about the benefits – which do exist.

If you must have a c-section or if your birth is high risk, epidurals can be a God sent. Being able to hold your baby immediately after a c-section is a blessing. For the women who want to be medicated, epidurals are most of the time amazing at relieving all uncomfortable feelings. Yet, don’t you think that when you are not told the whole truth and nothing but…you are still being lied to?

It is a fallacy – an untruth – to think that epidurals are consequence free.

They are not.

Epidurals’ long term side effects have been well documented in scientific literature. Certainly it is no big discovery that epidurals interfere with the normal progress of labor. They also have never been proven safe to you or your baby.   Epidural side effects and risks are three fold:

  • The risks to you
  • The risks associated with the process of labor – which in the end affect you and your baby
  • The risks to your baby

Now, with all this being said, as we mentioned above, epidurals do have their place in labor and birth. Some women need them for a variety of reasons and technology applied wisely can be beneficial and live saving.

We are not against epidurals.

We are for the wise use of technology in the right situation.

We are also pro-informed consent.

While many will say they had epidurals with no ill effects. Many women have another story to tell and they would have made different choices IF they had been given all the facts. When it comes down to it, any intervention should be a “risks versus benefits” decision.

 

Epidural Side Effects

 

Epidural Side Effects and Risks: What is an Epidural?

An epidural involves an injection of a local anesthetic into the epidural space around the coverings that protect your spinal cord.

Note: The anesthetics used are still derived from cocaine.

There are two types of epidurals:

  • Conventional: This type of epidural will numb you from the waist down and will be very effective in blocking all sensations as well as all movement. So as far as pain relief is concerned, yes it is very effective.
  • Walking epidural: Since the turn of the 21st century, a new form of epidural has emerged onto the scene. It uses lower concentrations of local anesthetics in combination with opiate painkillers.

Side effects do come with both kinds of epidurals.

When it comes to pain relief, women love epidurals. If you do not want to feel your labor, an epidural wisely done should do the trick.

However, ultimately, many women do not enjoy epidural side effects and how they interfere with their birth experience, or their bonding experience after the birth of their baby. It is well known – and not up for debate – that one of the epidural side effects is that the medication interferes with your labor hormones and therefore the speed – as well as quality – of your labor.

In rare cases, an epidural can have dire consequences and can even lead to death. Although this is very rare.

 

 

Epidural Side Effects and Risks: Your Labor Hormones

 

“Epidural analgesia is one of the most striking examples of the medicalization of normal birth, transforming a physiological event into a medical procedure.” World Health Organization

During labor, your body produces very important hormones. It is well known that an epidural interferes with this process. An epidural will interfere with the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone that helps your uterus contract effectively and the same hormones which helps you to bond with your baby after the birth. Most women that use an epidural will also require synthetic oxytocin in the form of Pitocin.

While pitocin helps your uterus contract, this synthetic drug does not have the same bonding effect as your natural hormone. An epidural’s ability to mess with oxytocin also has another profound effect.

Oxytocin is also called “the love hormone.” At birth, it helps a mother “fall in love” and bond with her baby. Research has effectively proven that a sheep who gives birth to her young with an epidural will NOT bond with but rather reject her young. Many believe that human mothers who receive an epidural are at a disadvantage from birth when it comes to bonding with their newborn. Research does bear this out.

This does not mean that a mother who was medicated cannot bond. We are not sheep and there are many ways to bond with our infants. Yet, some moms have expressed more difficulty bonding with their newborn after a medicated birth. During the course of a natural labor, another hormone – Beta-endorphin, a stress hormone – builds up in your blood stream.

What is the function of this hormone?

Natural pain relief.

Two other stress hormones – Adrenaline and Non-adrenaline also known as catecholamines – are released under stressful situations. This is the case for everyone not just laboring moms. When you experience a natural labor, these catecholamines are slowly released into your blood stream. At the end of your labor, a natural “push” of these hormones will give you renewed energy to birth your baby. It will also enable you to fully be alert to greet her. On the down side, too many of these catecholamines building too fast will impede your labor.

Under what conditions do catecholamines build too rapidly?

Under severe stress, such as:

  • Hunger – you are not allowed to eat in labor
  • Being too cold or too hot
  • Being with strangers – hospital staff
  • Being in a different environment – like a hospital

On the other hand, an epidural reduces the release of these important hormones. This reduction makes it difficult for a mom who has received an epidural to effectively push her infant out and this increases her risks for an assisted delivery – vacuum, forceps or even a c-section.

 

Epidural Side Effects and Risks: To You The Mother

To you, the risks of epidural anesthesia are many and some of them – albeit rare – are deadly:

  • A drop in your blood pressure – also called hypotension.

This occurs about 30 to over 50% of the time and it is the most common side effect. So why is this bad? Your blood pressure must be sufficient to insure proper oxygenation to your baby via the placenta. Obviously, a baby with an inadequate oxygenated blood supply will be a distressed baby. Moreover, a drop in blood pressure can lead to respiratory distress for you and your baby and even to cardiac arrest!

  • Urinary retention and postpartum urinary dysfunction

Urinary retention is a problem in labor for various reasons:

    • It increases your risks of urinary tract infection
    • If your bladder is too full it will inhibit the dilation of your cervix and the rotation of your baby’s headIn order to avoid this, a urinary catheter will be placed at the same time as the epidural.

Urinary dysfunction – loss of bladder control may occur and can last for hours, days, weeks and even months.

  • You might shiver uncontrollably

It is uncomfortable and sadly this happens frequently.

  • Your face, neck and throat may itch

This is common. You will be given another drug to combat the itchiness.

  • Nausea and vomiting

It is common but usually does not last too long. You might be given a drug to counteract the nausea. One of the side effects of the nausea medication is drowsiness.

  • Fever

This occurs 15% of the time and the risks increase the longer the epidural is in. Epidural anesthesia affects your ability to sweat and obviously if you can’t sweat…you can’t dissipate excess body heat. So you will be quite uncomfortable but for your baby it is a much added stress. That’s right, your baby’s heart rate may become erratic and that increases your risk of a c-section. If the medical staff is concerned they might give you IV antibiotic as a precaution. When your baby is born he may be taken to NICU to be observed and make sure he does not suffer from an infection as well.

  • Spinal headache

This occurs 1 to 10% of the time and it can range from mild to debilitating. Its duration can be up to days and even weeks.

  • Uneven, incomplete or even nonexistent pain relief: This occurs 10% of the time.
  • Inability to move about freely on your own

This occurs 100% of the time. The inability to move will hinder the progress of your labor and it also increases the likelihood of other interventions that also increase your chances of an emergency c-section.

  • Increased risk of hemorrhage

A British study found that women were twice as likely to experience postpartum hemorrhaging when they used an epidural in labor.

Here some very serious epidural risks which are rare. However if they happen to you it is a statistic of 100%:

  • Convulsions
  • Respiratory paralysis: Indeed the opiate based drugs administered can cause breathing difficulties which may last for hours after the birth of your baby.
  • Cardiac arrest. To read a case study, Click Here
  • Allergic shock to the epidural medications
  • Maternal death

 

 

Epidural Side Effects: Long Term Effects

As mentioned previously the long term effects of epidural may include:

  • Fecal and urinary incontinence or bladder dysfunction: 25 to 34%
  • Spinal headache: 1 to 10%
  • Feelings of Emotional detachment
  • Postpartum feelings of regret and/or loss
  • Loss of perineal sensation and sexual function
  • Postpartum Backache: Months to years
  • Serious Long Term Epidural Side Effects and Risks:
  • Nerve injury
  • Epidural abscess
  • Maternal death: Sadly it does not get more long term than that! To read a case study, Click Here

Epidural Side Effects: Other Interventions

  • You will have to be on IV and hooked to an EFM – electronic fetal monitor – which will restrict mobility AND affect the progress of labor leading to added interventions such as pitocin augmentation.
  • You will be hooked to a blood pressure cuff for the remainder of labor
  • You will have to be catherized
  • Increased risk of pitocin augmentation
  • Increased risk of internal fetal monitoring
  • Increased risk of forcep or vacuum delivery
  • Increased risk of episiotomy
  • Increased risk of c-section
  • The risks to your labor
  • The risks to your baby
Sources for Epidural Side Effects:
  • Cohen, Nancy Wainer. Open Season, 1991.
  • Enkin, M., M. Keirse, and I. Chalmers. An Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, 1992.
  • Goer, Henci. Obstetric Myths versus Research Realities: A Guide to the Medical Literature, 1995.
  • Macauley, JH, et al. Epidural analgesia in labor and fetal hyperthermia in
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology, October 1992 80(4):665-669.
  • Rothman, Barbara Katz (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Chidbearing, 1993.
  • http://www.childbirth.org
  • http://www.kimjames.net
  • www.mothering.com

Comments about Epidural Side Effects

 

  • My story of my epidural for my c-section by Alicia Marie   (Massena New York)

April 4th, 2010, I had a baby boy Easter Sunday! Ever since I had my c-section my back keeps locking up on me and I have been getting headaches. Is that normal for me to get those side effects?  I would like to know so please somebody tell me what I can do about this.  Also my son’s name is Landen John! He weighed 5lbs 8oz.

  • I wish that i read this before i gave birth!!! by Greatfulmommy (N.Y.)

I gave birth 3 month ago and I had an induced birth with pitocin. I did not read about effects or risk from the use of epidural during labor… I highly recommend to read about that during your pregnancy, so you can make a good decision in case that you need to use the epidural…  I still have pain in my back , sometimes I can’t bend my back or get straigth, and I feel pressure in my neck…  Take your time and read during pregnancy about all the situations in chilbirth…  Thanks for this information…

  • A Painful Regret…. Read All Info About Epidurals Before You Decide by DWhitmarsh (Texas)

I had a long labour and could no longer handle the pain, that was 10 or 11 hours into labour.  I agreed to have the epidural, it slowed the contractions but did not stop the dialation. I had long and hard pushing labour.  I had no other problems until almost a year later in the same spot where the epidural was done I have non stop pain to the point were breathing makes me want to cry.  After speaking with other mothers mid-back pain is common because of nerve damage. I have not found any relief at ALL! My child is now 16 months old, I have had this problem for a total of four months.  My mom firmly did not want me to have one because she feared this would happen, I wish that I would have listened this pain is equal to or in some cases worse then contractions or labour pain!  Please read any and all information and make the best decision for you and your baby! It might be immediate gratification but long term could be a horrible decision that I now regret!   Comments for A Painful Regret….   Dec 31, 2010 ~ POSSIBLE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF EPIDURAL by Anonymous I am a grandmother of an epidural baby….who was born “healthy”,thank goodness. My grandson is now 3 years old ,and I am suspicious that there are more long term effects….possibly hyperactivity, and inability to fall asleep normally…….

  • Talk about all sides by Anonymous

If you want to be a credible source you should at least talk about the positives, not just the negatives. While I do not plan on getting and epidural, it is still important to talk about both sides for those that visit your website – not just one side. I am very interested in an all natural birth, but your website totally turns me off because of all the negatives. I was really excited at first.. Thanks for ruining it. Comments for Talk about all sides:

  • Nov 16, 2010 ~ 2 sides Not always talked about by Heather Renee

Usually, you ONLY hear all about the “good”… go to ANY other site and that is all you hear about. You never hear about side effects, the % of how many of those ACTUALLY end up in C-section and such. This is a place that TELLS it EXACTLY how it is. No need for sugar coating, because every other site already does that. This site is for Natural motherhood information.. that includes Natural delivery as well. Just my two cents

  • Nov 16, 2010 ~ by: Natural Motherhood ~ Florence

Thanks for your input, I appreciate you taking the time. I can certainly understand your point of view. The positives – to us – were redundant information…most women hear them constantly, they are marinating in them. What most women want is the other side. I would hope that everyone by now would know they are always two sides. We chose to give the information that is not readily shared nor available. We are also aware that our site will not appeal to everyone and that is okay. We wish you the best and many blessings!

  • IT STILL HURTS!!!!!! by Jannette (Meriden , CT)

After having 2 baies, one epidural for my first son and two for my daughter, first one regular epidural and the second one for the tuboloide, and after 5 years of this my back hurts a lot, and they ( doctors ) didn’t tell me that this was going to happen…….

  • Back pain from epidural by Alissa (illinois)

i had an epidural with my first son, a few days later i was having slurred speech and my upper body was shaking. i went to the hospital and they couldn’t find out why i did that. i had an epidural with my second child and the day i came home i did the same thing. i went to the hospital and the doctor told me that it was from the epidural and he said that it was dystonia. i didn’t stop having muscle spasms for until 2 months later. my youngest son is 5yrs old now and when i stand for a short period of time my back hurts pretty bad. as soon as i lay down my back will have non stop muscle spasms. i have to lay on a heating pad most part of the night. if i’m lucky the next day it might be better. i wish i had never had an epidural. my back hurts all the time and it makes it hard to get things done.

  • Back pain for life? 

I had an epidural almost 11 years ago…I have been suffering from lower back pain for about that long. Every time i go to see my doctor about my back pain, he just gives me muscle relaxers and pain killers, and sends me on my way.  I have been to physical therapy, but that was short term relief. I don’t know what to do and don’t want to live with this chronic back pain. Is it because I made that decision to have the epidural?  I ask myself, was it worth the years of back pain to be relieved of a few hours of child birth? In retrospect, no it was not worth it.   Comments for back pain for life?: Jun 11, 2011 ~ SAME PAIN by Anonymous will me to i have the same pain and its only been 2 years since my little girl was born and my lower back always hurts i had 4 c sections i dont no if thats y but i feel my doc is stupid he gives me the same meds all the time and they dont work i wish this pain would disapear.

  • Forever regretful

I experienced the most common side effect of the epidural, drop in blood pressure. When the anesthesiologist mentioned this possible side effect she made it seem like no big deal. They would be able to correct it if it happened shortly. Well it happened. I lost consciousness and they lost my baby’s heart rate. I regained consciousness as they where filling me with fluids and flipping me over. I saw my husband and mother gripping each other in horror. They were eventually able to find my baby’s heart rate and stabilize me. But from now on I will always have to wonder if it caused him any damage. Even if he ends up the valedictorian of his class, I will always wonder if he could be even smarter. I have also suffered some of the other consequences of an epidural such as decreased perineal feeling. I have also had difficulty bonding with my baby though I am not sure if it was because of the epidural or the separation from my little one. It was the worst mistake of my life. I wish I had understood the true implications of getting the epidural.

  • Two kids one problem by Bekah (WV)

I’ve had the epidural for the birth of both my children. My first delivery went great. I had no horrible side effects. It did its job and I delivered vaginally. My second child, however is a different story. I had to have an emergency c-section, I shivered uncontrollably for hours after delivery, and my hair is falling out.

  • I WISH THEY INFORMED ME OFF THE EFFECTS

I WAS IN PAIN FOR HOURS. I DID NOT WANT TO GET THE EPIDURAL. THEN I GOT TO THE POINT THAT THE PAIN WAS GETTING STRONGER THAT I WAS CRYING SO MUCH THAT I COULD NOT EVEN CLOSE MY EYES OR HAVE A NAP BECAUSE EVERY TIME I CLOSE MY EYES MY PAIN WAS STRONGER THEN. I HAD NO CHOICE TO GET IT SO I CAN HAVE A NAP THEN AFTER THEY PUT THE EPIDURAL I WAS OK. WHEN IT CAME TO MY LABOR I DID NOT FILL ANYTHING IT WAS PRETTY FAST. THE ONLY THING THAT I WANTED IS FOR MY LITTLE GIRL TO BE OK AND SHE WAS. BUT NOW TIME PAST AM ALWAYS WITH BACK PAIN HEADDACHE IT IS HARD WHAT CAN I DO.

  • Decision is made by salwa hannane (dubai)

Am due on july 15, I was convainced to have an epidural to reduce the pain but after reading this amazing article I won’t think about it anymore,and ill go for natural birth,really thank u Comments for decision is made May 22, 2011 ~ im so happy by Anonymous im so excited that you were able to read some information to make you change your mind on getting the epidural. our world is a happier more peaceful place one birth at a time!

  • Epidural- Me three by Ethel (Eugene,OR)

My husbands sister had an epidural and complained about constant backaches every 2 weeks to a month. For 8 months she dealt with it and finally had to be prescribed. My husbands sister tends to exagerate. I had wanted a natural birth, but caved in to an epidural due to my friend’s mother’s recommendation. I was very upset with my self once the pain went away and I realised what I had agreed too. My delivery went by smoothly, but I felt so emotionally disconnected to my baby. I didn’t want to touch him. I still held him and tried to feed him, but I couldn’t acknowledge him. I didn’t feel him come out which is why it was hard to connect. There was no click that natural birth gives. Four days after delivery, I was on painkillers to cope, but that didn’t mask the sharp pain I got that day. I shrieked and gasped, I could not believe how much it hurt. From once a week to once a month, to every time I try to workout, I get that same pain and have to lay on my bed, till it goes away.

  • Epidural and breastfeeding

http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/?p=3120 A Look at the Research: The Link Between Epidural Analgesia and Breastfeeding

  • Epidurals are safer than general anaesthetic by Lyndsey (UK)

I have had 2 epidurals, and one spinal block. I was fully aware of the risks at the time, and also of the risks of not having the necessary surgery, for me and the baby. Having children is not without risk, whatever the method. A strong agenda such as the one on this website should take account of the risk of maternal and infant death in a situation where medical intervention is not available. Natural childbirth is great – but only if everything is going well. Comments for Epidurals are safer than general anaesthetic Sep 10, 2011 ~ epidurals by  Florence Hi Lyndsey, Thank you for your input! You are perfectly correct, epidurals are much safer than general anesthesia. The problem – in the United States – is that women are made to believe they are totally safe and that it is no big deal. Most women are not made aware of the risks. In the United States, epidurals are the bread and butter of hospitals. They are pushed on all women. This site is NOT about telling moms they should not have epidurals. But it is ABOUT telling them that they are risks and sometimes major ones. We are not so naive as to think all is always well with birth, that ALL moms CAN have a natural birth or will even want to. However, we do believe natural birth is the safest options when you do have that option. For some moms, the hospital is the best place and an epidural is a necessary evil for having a healthy birth with a healthy mama and baby. This is the problem with the written words is that people make assumption or read it one way or we portray it in a way we do not intend. I do not know about the way things are in England…but in the US most moms are ill informed and we try to help them see there is another side. We feel that this way, all moms are able to make the best and most informed choice for THEM. This site is not about telling you what you need to do…for  no one has that power. You alone do. Again thank you for writing and many blessings.

  • Could it be the epidurals?? by Ceci (IL)

I have had 2 epidurals for both my pregnancies…but after my first I now suffer from multiple symptoms I’ve have never had before. Urinary retention Urinary tract infections (5 last year) Incontinence Headaches almost daily Sciatic pain daily After reading this I don’t know where else to point for the source to my significant decline in quality of life. Epidural? Great article thanks.

  • Epidural-the violent back pain i suffered ! by anjali verma (faridabad)

within days after my vaccum delivery using an epidural,on 19 sep 2011, on 2/oct 2011 i fainted due to dizziness and violent unbearable pain in in my spinal cord, which is still there to some extent . i regret not doing enough research abt it on the internet during my pregnency & trusting my doctor, both the gynae and the anaesthesialogogist , who told me that there are no side effects of using an epidural. i am tired of using pain killers and sleeping pills for my back ache and dont suggest anyone to use epidural .

  • Say no to epidural! Changed my life forever  by Shireenq (Canada)

I took epidural as I was unaware of the side effects. I ended up with a damaged femoral nerve. My left leg was paralysed. I ended up in a wheel chair for 2 months. Things are better with physiotherapy and I’m now able to walk and manage on my own. However I still cannot walk fast or run or go down stairs. At the age of 28 my life has completely changed. Never thought I would have to go through such an experience in my life. Please consider what I wrote above before taking the decision to use epidural.

  • What a relief but much pain afterwards by Juliana (Georgia)

I never had any ideas of the severe pains I will go through after my baby in 2007, with epidural. True is good to get it, but the side effect that u will go through is really very painful. I have been to more than five emergency room for a terrible back pain due to the epidural I had during childbirth. Now my back has never been good since 2007 that I had my baby. She is five now and am still nursing the pains of back pain that I never had but do now due to epidural. I will never ever have that again if I ever have to have a baby. Natural is the key my dear women. As to what to do for the pains to go away is still a mystery for me. I want my back back again. How possible is that anyways. What is the solution to this back pain. God help women, but as the saying always goes experience is always the best teacher n I know better now. Women beware of the pains that u will go through after the epidural. I am a living testimony.

  • Headaches and backaches by miss white (albany ny usa)

I had a epidural for my first and only child..I get headaches and backaches times to time. I rarely had headaches and backaches before I had my baby.

  • Epidural helped speed up birth by Anonymous

My waters broke but I was not having any effective contractions, to cut a long story short, after almost 48 hours of ineffective contractions despite the pessaries and complete freedom of movement I was still not dilated and the pain was now really localised, not at all like normal contractions. I was terrified of having an epidural, really really scared, and the fear was really starting to consume all my thoughts. I was prepped for induction as my temperature was rising and a few more hours and I would have had to have a C-section. The epidural was administered, really carefully so I would still feel the contractions and the baby’s head and all of a sudden I dilated and within 2 hours my daughter was born with a nuchal hand and cord. I have not had any bad consequences from the epidural. It seems the relief from the epidural actually allowed things to start moving in my case. I do feel a little bit like I missed out on the full experience of birth as it was so relaxed and easy after the epidural and next time I hope that i don’t need one but would I be as scared and worried about having one next time – no.   Comments for Epidural helped speed up birth: Mar 26, 2012 ~ Epidural  by  Natural Motherhood Hi there and thank you for your comment. We are not against epidurals, we are for informed choice. Technology has a place and faced with a c-section…an epidural is the lesser of two evils. What is sad is that most women are not informed… Blessings to you and we are glad to hear you had a healthy labor and birth!

  • Spinal headache by brixhilda (london)

i have been suffering from spinal headache for the past 7 years and no amount of pain killers get ride of it. is there anything you can do or take to stop the pain? a friend of mine who suffered from the same thing as me after having the epiduaral said you need to do another epiduarl as it will flush your system and the pain will stop. she has done 4 epidurals as after bother her pregnancies when she had her children she got the spinal headache. she had 2 children but after the birth requested to have a second one for each to stop the headache.  this has worked for her and no longer suffers from spinal headaches.  would this work for me as well?

  • Nerve Damage from Epidural by Carly McKenzie (Oxfordshire/UK)

2 months ago I gave birth to my 4th child, a little girl after 3 boys. She was brow presentation so got stuck and I required an epidural and rotational forceps to get her out. Unfortunately the epidural failed to work fully, it only went down one leg and I was still getting lots of pain with the contractions. Anyway, to cut a long story short she arrived safely. After returning home the next day I was very weak on my left leg and it kept sliding outwards to the side causing me to collapse on the floor at one point. When walking it would swing outwards to the side. When I lay down I could not raise my leg and when I crouched down to a cupboard I could not stand back up again unless I had something to hold on to pull myself up. I went to see my GP and he diagnosed nerve damage in my back, i am now waiting to see a specialist. 2 months on things have improved quite a lot, my leg is stronger but I still have trouble especially when I walk around corners ie going into different rooms in the house. I also have this unbalanced kind of dizzy feeling which feels more like my eyes than anything to do with my back or leg. I had no pain relief with my boys and the pain was horrific so I was hoping for an epidural with my daughter if there was time. I would never advise people not to have an epidural as I was just unlucky and I know how horrendous childbirth is – but just be aware of the side effects. Thanks for reading :o)

  • Epidural regrets by Ashley (Florida)

I went to the hopital at 4:45am to be induced at 5am on nov.10 2011 I was 4 days past my due date I was 7 mins away from being in labor for 14hrs. I had the epidural at my 12th hr and I regret it so much. I been having severe back pains to where it puts me in tears. But for some reason it sped my labor up. I pushed for 30 mins n popped out my baby boy. 8lbs 11oz n 22in long. But my next one im saying no to the epidural. Im totally against it now.

  • My long term side effects from an epidural by H (UK)

Hello, i just thought i would share my experience with having an epidural…Immedietly afterwards i was shivering uncontrollably and my skin was itching like crazy, my legs tingled but i could still move them. Over 7 months later i suffer from backache that is sometimes bad, i also have a permanent bruised feeling where they put the needle into my back sometimes it aches bad and feels sore i rub it and it feels like he is putting it in again! not nice at all… i spoke to my gp about it and he swore that there are no long term side effects from it and that i just need to excersie! well i know my own body and i walked out of there and decided to do my own research and have found loads of evidence of long term back ache !

  • Delayed side effects by Anonymous

My daughter gave birth to a little healthy boy a couple months ago and suddenly now has unusual problems with her brain. She had an epidural during the delivery and a C-section as she wouldn’t dilate. Her symtoms are a brain fog, unable to think though problems, can’t drive due to light headednes/dizziness. Lack of appetite probably due to stress related to all these unusual problems. If you have any of these, please let me know as health care providers are having trouble pin pointing the cause. Comments for Delayed side effects: Jan 14, 2012 ~ similar symptoms, no epi, vag birth by  Rosemary I have brain fog, trouble making decisions, and gave birth 7 months ago – but – mine was a vaginal birth with no epi and no other pain relief. I had associated my symptoms with sleep deprivation, and some post-natal anxiety following an overwhelming, precipitate labour and less than ideal birth experience.

  • Learned why I’ve been getting headaches by Anonymous

So i just had my daughter in May. Starting this month i started getting headaches out of no where. Reading this i found out that i been getting spinal headaches. I’ve been taking pain killers thinking that would help, but it only helps for like a hour then the headache is back. I wish there was something that i could do about it. Do i let my doctor know what’s been happening?

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/philipalisha.rudd Philip-Alisha Rudd

    I had an epidural with my baby 6 months ago, and it was great. I have had no side effects. I still fell in love with her the moment I saw her, and my birthing experience was great. I still had feeling in my legs to move around, I just couldn’t walk. They stopped the epidural when it was time to push so I was able to feel myself giving birth, and I was up and walking around just 30 minutes after delivery. I plan on having another epi with my next child. There are risks, but there are risks for delivering naturally too. I have had several friends go natural and went into shock from the pain. It’s risky either way. That’s why they say you go into the jaws of death to give birth! :)

    • http://www.natural-motherhood.com/ Natural Motherhood

      I disagree that giving birth is like going in the jaws of death and I have never heard of anyone going into shock from the pain of childbirth. Birth is risky when unwarranted interventions are introduced.

      I am very glad you are satisfied with your decision to have an epidural and the way your birth went.

  • Jose Karsten

    Autistic children seem to have a shortage of oxytocine. Side effect of epidurals?

    • http://www.natural-motherhood.com/ Natural Motherhood

      Good point and/or pitocin…something to research further that’s for sure! ~ F