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Home Wellness Research Delivery Epidurals Impact Newborns

Epidurals Impact Newborns

Friday, 22 January 2010 11:02

When considering whether or not to receive an epidural anesthetic during labor, doctors often overlook the potential impact it has on the baby once it has been born. One report has gathered several scientific papers that show that epidurals not only limit a mother’s ability to position herself and to feel pain, but also increase the use of internal fetal heart monitors and Pitocin [Pathways 23, Fall 2009], cause an increased use of vacuum or forceps extraction, and can be hazardous to breastfeeding infants. Due to the decreased production of hormones caused by epidurals, many new moms have difficulty producing breastmilk, and many newborns have problems latching on to the breast. With all of the crucial benefits of breastfeeding, the use of epidurals can be dangerous to both mother and child.


Pathways Issue 24 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #24.

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