Epidurals have risks but also decrease complications associated with childbirth by Doc (Houston, Texas)
First, I see a lot of comments on here about lower back pain after childbirth, and it seems that it is being blamed on the epidural. First of all, Pain running down the back of the legs is more likely to be sciatica. It is related to a problem in one of the lumbar vertebral discs. THe disc is likely malaligned and can range from “bulging” to “herniated”. Disc abnormalities and trauma are a natural occurence during childbirth and result fromt the extreme flexion of the hips required during labor. This pain is almost certainly NOT a result of the epidural.
Second, there are a lot of negative and uninformed comments on here regarding labor epidurals.
Labor epidurals do have risks, but in the majority of cases, provide comfort to the laboring mother and increase safety for the baby. During childbirth, there is a surge of catecholamines that are released due to stress. These catecholamines can constrict blood vessels that supply blood (oxygen) to the baby which can lead to complications during childbirth (hypoxia and late decelerations in baby’s heart rate), arrested labor (sometimes requiring c-section which would then require a spinal or even worse…general anesthesia which has a high mortality rate in pregnancy) and even learning disabilities later in life. One of the most important benefits of labor epidurals, is that it dramatically decreases these catecholamines, ensuring that your baby stays well oxygenated, allows the labor to proceed easily (which is healthy for baby), and overall is a much more enjoyed child birth experience for mother and baby.
This is why labor nurses strongly encourage the use of epidurals. For all of you laboring mothers out there that are considering epidurals, know this. A person is called “doctor” for a reason. Not because he or she looks good in a white lab coat, but because doctors spend thousands of hours studying medicine, its effects on mother and baby, the latest research available, and services are ONLY provided when the benefit outweighs the risk for BOTH mother and baby.
So whatever you are thinking could be a problem, know that your doctor is already aware of it and so many more details that it would take all day to explain them to the average lay person.
Allow the professionals to do their jobs and understand that the anesthesiologist placing the epidural is not some goofy, ignorant, wacko roaming the halls wanting to poke anyone he can with a needle. He is a highly trained, educated, professional who wants only one thing……the best possible outcome for you and your baby.
Comments for Epidurals Have Risks
- Jun 23, 2012 ~ Not from the babies perspective by Paul
An anesthetic that “comforts” a 130 women, is going to have a many fold effect on an 8 lb baby. The placental barrier does not provide protection. Not a helpful thing for a baby struggling to born. What I can sense about my own birth, was that I was agonzingly stuck, powerless to even move, anything but a smooth process.
- Jun 23, 2012 ~ Idiot by Anonymous
Only one thing to say.
You’re an idiot Doc.