Epidural Risks

The question has been asked, “What are the possible effects of an epidural on the baby?”

-Epidurals can slow labor, and as a result, oxytocin (Pitocin) will be administered through an IV. Pitocin brings on unnaturally strong contractions and almost always causes fetal distress. Pitocin also increases the chance of a forcep or vacuum assisted delivery, as well as cesarean section. (All of which can cause even more unpleasant side effects to the baby.)

-An epidural will also require electronic fetal monitoring, which I believe is highly inaccurate and prone to error. Inaccurate signs of fetal distress picked up through electronic fetal monitoring can lead to an obstetrician’s hasty decision for an unecessary c-section.

-An epidural requires that a precautionary IV be put in place. Any fluid overload from this IV can cause fluid in the baby’s lungs and/or blood chemistry disturbances.

-Epidurals can cause a considerable drop in maternal blood pressure, which may endanger the baby.

-Anesthetic is delivered into the cerebrospinal fluid, then passes into the maternal blood vessels, crosses into the placenta, and into the baby’s circulation. It may act directly to slow the fetal heartrate.

As Henci Goer states in her book “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth” :

“By the time you are hooked up to an IV, an oxytocin delivery pump, a fetal monitor, an automated blood pressure cuff, an epidural pump, and have a bladder catheter, what was a perfectly normal labor has been transformed into a high tech event.”

Congratulations, you have now pretty much sealed the deal on an “emergency” cesarean.

Ladies, there are REASONS why God created us to experience pain during labor, and it ain’t just because Eve ate the forbidden fruit.

Pain during labor tells your body what to do. Pain will drive you into the most comfortable position, and that position is the one which is perfectly suited to effectively bring your baby into the world. Your body responds to labor pain by secreting massive amounts of adrenaline and endorphins. Adrenaline gives you stamina, keeps you going, gives you strength to push through. Endorphin levels at the time of your baby’s birth will be THIRTY TIMES HIGHER than normal. Natural oxytocin secreted in your brain will elevate your mood and will cause amnisiac properties. (This is why we forget the pain of childbirth and want to do it again!) The pain also prepares your baby for life, readying his lungs to breathe, mobilizing glucose for energy, protecting your baby against lack of oxygen during labor, and pushing blood into the baby’s brain and heart. THE PAIN IS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE, IS HAS A PURPOSE!

As a young, uneducated mother, I birthed my first two babies with the aid of an epidural. I was completely paralyzed from my breastbone to the tips of my toes. I felt nothing, and I thought that was a good thing! I couldn’t walk until the following day, couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own, had extensive tearing and bleeding, was exhausted, and felt like shit. My babies were sleepy and jaundiced. I failed at breastfeeding both times.

My last baby was born at home, completely natural. My body felt strong and alive. I could feel my baby’s head as it crowned. I felt in control of my body. When he was born, I felt like I was on Cloud 9. I felt energized. I was able to get up right away and walk around. I had minimal bleeding. My baby was alert and healthy, and scored perfect on his Apgar’s. And maybe best of all…We are now into the 10th month of breastfeeding.

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6 Responses to “Epidural Risks”


  1. 1 Anonymous September 8, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for speaking up about epidurals!!!

    –A Bradley Method Educator, who happened upon your post!

  2. 2 Areto September 9, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. 3 stoogy September 9, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    I think that answered my question.

  4. 4 Chelsea November 10, 2007 at 2:12 am

    Please help I am scared… Somebody told me that if I have done LSD in the past I cannot get an epidural during my pregnancy. I did it approx. 2 years ago and only tried it once. But I am now really nervous because I had heard that it can not only kill the baby but put me at serious risks. Does anyone have any information on this? I want to have a healthy baby and if it means not getting the epidural then that is fine but If I can still get it will somebody please let me know??? My email address is totaldarkness00@hotmail.com. Thank you!

  5. 5 Maggie July 29, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    6 weeks after having my son I am still experiencing pain in my lower back and just realized I have not urinated since 7am this morning until 4pm in the afternoon. I do not feel the urge to urinate. I have to remind myself to use the restroom. If i had the opportunity to go through labor again I will definitely opt out on the epidural. Never again!

  6. 6 Miriam March 16, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    You can definitely see your skills in the work you write.

    The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you
    who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.


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