Epidurals have risks but also decrease complications associated with childbirth

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.

My point?

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.


Epidurals have risks


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.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=856540611 Lily Alayne Owen

    You cannot be serious. Absolutely positively wrong in every way.

    Do you believe in evidence?

  • Perfection Home

    This “Doc” is a prime example of the typical American doctor: uneducated, ignorant, archaic, genocidal, narcissists with little regard for human life.
    “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.”
    This is patently false and mildly delusional. Perhaps you would LIKE to think that is why they are called a doctor of medicine. The truth is they go to MEDICAL school during which they are inundated with learning materials exclusively provided by PHARMACEUTICAL companies.(conflict of interests) They learn to practice MEDICINE, not healing or wellness. A doctor knows nothing of nutrition, having received an average of 2 hours of Nutrition credit hours in those “thousands of hours” of study. Then once they’ve accrued thousands in debt, they Hypocritically take a Hippocatic Oath to do no harm, and promptly do nothing but. They pay back those student loans with hefty financial kickbacks from the needless prescriptions they pass out indescriminantly. In 2013, doctors are whores for pharmaceutical companies. They are the best paid sanctioned drug dealers in the United States.
    Really? They take into the account the latest research of treatment safety? Really? You quite clearly have never researched ANY type of pharmaceutical medicine (it’s approval process, ingredients, origins, or effects) You are obviously ignorant of the effects of
    -Thalomide, mercury, aluminum (all found in vaccines, medicines, and dental treatments given to babies, children, and elderly),
    -chemotherapy (which “latest research” from a [non pharmaceutical company funded] study from West Virginia proves beyond doubt that chemotherapy kills more people than it “cures”.
    -SSRI medications are known amongst psychiatric “professionals” to rewire the brain to predispose it to violence
    -Adderol (aka the street drug Speed) given to children (whose careless, negligent parents have allowed to be “diagnosed” with an imaginary disorder ADD) has just been empirically proven to SHRINK children’s brain and significantly lower IQ
    -Fluoride. period.
    But painkillers dosed for a grown woman are safe for a newborn human because the doctor says so. Thank you , Doctor. Whatever would we do without people like you?

  • Shelby

    As a senior in high school who is doing her senior project on a natural birth convention, I also wrote a 10 page paper about why I believe a reform is needed for birth in America. I learned through my research that catecholamine is released when the mother is being over-observed, in tremendous pain, or in fear. So not only can a woman in natural labor release this hormone, but also someone who has an epidural who feels unsafe. You know what else restricts blood flow to the baby? An epidural that causes hypotension (which occurs often), and Pitocin that causes long and strong contractions. Someone can not honestly believe that introducing interventions into birth can actually be GOOD for babies, idiot. I’m only in high school and I know more about birth than this goof!

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

      Profound and right on answer, thank you Shelby!