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Risks of Epidurals?

Posted by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:46 PM
  • 21 Replies

I have never known the risks of an epidural.  I am sure they told me before giving me it, but when I had my twins that was my only option given to me because they did a double set up so that they would be ready for whatever may happen. LIke if  I needed a csection. So I had one vaginally and one csection. So anyway..I am wondering if the ladies who are against epidurals could tell me why and what the health risks are.

Thanks!

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Randi02
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:47 PM
Of course there are risks with getting a needle in your spine. I'm mobile, but I know there are a lot of ladies with great information.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
avaana06
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:52 PM

Well of course. I should have said I understand that... However, there are risks involved with tons of procedures, so I trusted the anesthesiologist knew where he should insert the needle.

Quoting Randi02:

Of course there are risks with getting a needle in your spine. I'm mobile, but I know there are a lot of ladies with great information.


gamelas
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:55 PM
1 mom liked this

ell covered louzannalady!

Randi02
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 6:58 PM
1 mom liked this
Knowing where to put it isn't the issue.
It looks like you were provided with some good information in another reply :)


Quoting avaana06:

Well of course. I should have said I understand that... However, there are risks involved with tons of procedures, so I trusted the anesthesiologist knew where he should insert the needle.


Quoting Randi02:

Of course there are risks with getting a needle in your spine. I'm mobile, but I know there are a lot of ladies with great information.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Pandapanda
by Amber on Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:03 PM
2 moms liked this

When they prepare you for a "just in case" scenario, they usually expect to do a c-section regardless. :(

I am against any medication during labor because I do not believe in introducing risks to my baby or myself. I wouldn't do drugs/narcotics while pregnant, why use them in labor?

I was in school to be an anesthesiologist, and there's a reason their malpractice insurance is so high. Human error is far too common! As far as human error: there's always the risk of misplacing the epidural. Too low can cause permanent back problems, only one side being numb, or nothing being numb at all. Too high can cause lung paralysis and subsequently maternal/fetal death. Epidurals are given in hospitals, which are a breeding ground for bacteria. You have a very high chance of a bacterial or viral infection introduced via the epidural space in your back. Epidurals are commonly not administered with individually sealed, sterile gloves. 

An epidural isn't a drug itself, it's a procedure. Epidurals contain a cocktail of drugs, including magnesium sulfate (known to stop contractions in preterm women), lidocane/nubaine/fentanyl- all of which are derived from cocaine, and occasionally a small amount of morphine. The drugs in the epidural varies from hospital to hospital.

Epidurals make it so that you cannot get off of your back. If your baby becomes stuck, called a shoulder dystocia, then the only way to safely free the baby is to get off of your back and move into different positions (called the Gaskin Maneuver, named after midwife Ina May Gaskin). If you have an epidural, you cannot do this, leading to birth injury or vacuum/forecep extraction or episiotomy. 

The most common problems with epidurals are: shoulder dystocias, slow/stalled labor (leading to pitocin), fetal distress (lowered heart rate, meconium), high blood pressure, itchiness, dry mouth, headaches.

Epidurals also are linked to an increase in lower apgar scores, poor breathing in infant at birth, and trouble breastfeeding. 

 

In some rare cases where an epidural is actually needed, it can help lower blood pressure or relieve tension to allow a woman to continue laboring. However, it's debated that if more women were informed/prepared/supported on going epi-free, the latter wouldn't be so much of an issue. 

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avaana06
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Thanks for the links. I now feel like a bad parent. LOL

Quoting louzannalady:

http://www.cafemom.com/group/117811/forums/read/17533534/Information_about_epidurals


LittleBirdFly
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:08 PM

I had one but they did NOT tell me anything that could happen. But yeah it could be lots of things from chronic back pain to being paralyzed (even that is rare but it could happen). Also you get this drug as well as your baby.

avaana06
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Great information. Thank you so much. The reason I had a c section with my second twin was because her heart rate was starting to drop. They didn't even give me a few minutes to try myself. After reading all of this I can see how an epidural could have been the trigger for quite a few things in that delivery. I appreciate you taking the time to post!

Quoting Pandapanda:

When they prepare you for a "just in case" scenario, they usually expect to do a c-section regardless. :(

I am against any medication during labor because I do not believe in introducing risks to my baby or myself. I wouldn't do drugs/narcotics while pregnant, why use them in labor?

I was in school to be an anesthesiologist, and there's a reason their malpractice insurance is so high. Human error is far too common! As far as human error: there's always the risk of misplacing the epidural. Too low can cause permanent back problems, only one side being numb, or nothing being numb at all. Too high can cause lung paralysis and subsequently maternal/fetal death. Epidurals are given in hospitals, which are a breeding ground for bacteria. You have a very high chance of a bacterial or viral infection introduced via the epidural space in your back. Epidurals are commonly not administered with individually sealed, sterile gloves. 

An epidural isn't a drug itself, it's a procedure. Epidurals contain a cocktail of drugs, including magnesium sulfate (known to stop contractions in preterm women), lidocane/nubaine/fentanyl- all of which are derived from cocaine, and occasionally a small amount of morphine. The drugs in the epidural varies from hospital to hospital.

Epidurals make it so that you cannot get off of your back. If your baby becomes stuck, called a shoulder dystocia, then the only way to safely free the baby is to get off of your back and move into different positions (called the Gaskin Maneuver, named after midwife Ina May Gaskin). If you have an epidural, you cannot do this, leading to birth injury or vacuum/forecep extraction or episiotomy. 

The most common problems with epidurals are: shoulder dystocias, slow/stalled labor (leading to pitocin), fetal distress (lowered heart rate, meconium), high blood pressure, itchiness, dry mouth, headaches.

Epidurals also are linked to an increase in lower apgar scores, poor breathing in infant at birth, and trouble breastfeeding. 

 

In some rare cases where an epidural is actually needed, it can help lower blood pressure or relieve tension to allow a woman to continue laboring. However, it's debated that if more women were informed/prepared/supported on going epi-free, the latter wouldn't be so much of an issue. 


Pandapanda
by Amber on Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Heart decelerations are actually a normal part of labor, but if they dip too low or if the heart rate doesn't go back up after contractions, it can be very worrisome. Hugs! 

Quoting avaana06:

Great information. Thank you so much. The reason I had a c section with my second twin was because her heart rate was starting to drop. They didn't even give me a few minutes to try myself. After reading all of this I can see how an epidural could have been the trigger for quite a few things in that delivery. I appreciate you taking the time to post!

Quoting Pandapanda:

When they prepare you for a "just in case" scenario, they usually expect to do a c-section regardless. :(

I am against any medication during labor because I do not believe in introducing risks to my baby or myself. I wouldn't do drugs/narcotics while pregnant, why use them in labor?

I was in school to be an anesthesiologist, and there's a reason their malpractice insurance is so high. Human error is far too common! As far as human error: there's always the risk of misplacing the epidural. Too low can cause permanent back problems, only one side being numb, or nothing being numb at all. Too high can cause lung paralysis and subsequently maternal/fetal death. Epidurals are given in hospitals, which are a breeding ground for bacteria. You have a very high chance of a bacterial or viral infection introduced via the epidural space in your back. Epidurals are commonly not administered with individually sealed, sterile gloves. 

An epidural isn't a drug itself, it's a procedure. Epidurals contain a cocktail of drugs, including magnesium sulfate (known to stop contractions in preterm women), lidocane/nubaine/fentanyl- all of which are derived from cocaine, and occasionally a small amount of morphine. The drugs in the epidural varies from hospital to hospital.

Epidurals make it so that you cannot get off of your back. If your baby becomes stuck, called a shoulder dystocia, then the only way to safely free the baby is to get off of your back and move into different positions (called the Gaskin Maneuver, named after midwife Ina May Gaskin). If you have an epidural, you cannot do this, leading to birth injury or vacuum/forecep extraction or episiotomy. 

The most common problems with epidurals are: shoulder dystocias, slow/stalled labor (leading to pitocin), fetal distress (lowered heart rate, meconium), high blood pressure, itchiness, dry mouth, headaches.

Epidurals also are linked to an increase in lower apgar scores, poor breathing in infant at birth, and trouble breastfeeding. 

 

In some rare cases where an epidural is actually needed, it can help lower blood pressure or relieve tension to allow a woman to continue laboring. However, it's debated that if more women were informed/prepared/supported on going epi-free, the latter wouldn't be so much of an issue. 



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