I just want people to be aware of the pros and cons of an Epidural during birth, and to understand better why I don’t want to receive one as part of my labor experience. Please do not take any of this the wrong way, I am not bashing anyone for getting one, and I am not trying to stop you. I just feel women should be informed about what they are consenting to, what the benefits are, and what the risks are.

Pros

  • Less pain during child birth
  • Allows mom to get some rest

    Cons

  • Increased probability that the mother will have to have a c-section
  • Mom may need to receive pitocin (an artificial hormone)to restart labor.
  • Requires constant electronic fetal monitoring.
  • Moms sometime feel disconnected from the birth.
  • Baby may require a dose of naloxone (a drug for an overdose).
  • Mom may get a fever.
  • Mom’s blood pressure may drop or become low.
  • Mom has to basically lay flat on her back.
  • Baby can develop fetal distress
  • The anesthetic solution could accidentally be injected into the blood stream, which can cause mom to twitch, have convulsions, or lose of consciousness. This happened in 12 our 1000 women.
  • Could be trauma to mom’s blood vessels in her back causing persistent backaches or headaches or even permanent paralysis.
  • Mom could develop bacterial meningitis from the injection site.
  • Mom may loose the desire to push baby out.
  • From the low blood pressure, mom may experience a heart attack or the spinal cord will suffer damage.
  • Asthmatics can get suddenly worse during epidural anesthesia with more wheezing and inability to breath.
  • Mom could stop breathing all together.
  • Moms, about 30% of the time, experience nausea and vomiting.
  • Mom’s heart rate may slow, which runs the risk of cardiac arrest.

    Click here for case examples with mild problems from epidurals.

    Click here for examples of permanent disability from epidural anesthesia.

    Click here for cases of DEATHS from epidural anesthesia.

    I have read these results in many places, however, I really found this website Healing-Arts.org very helpful since they have all the information in one place, and they have the statistics on the site as well.

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