RISKS OF EPIDURALS                                                     BENEFITS OF EPIDURALS

Sudden drop in blood pressure which may affect adequate blood flow to baby. Laboring mom can rest if labor is very long.
Drop in blood pressure creates need for IV fluids, medications, and oxygen. Reduces pain.
Severe headache caused by leaking spinal fluid. Can be cured by a procedure giving a Blood Patch. If a Cesarean is necessary you are already medicated and can be awake during the surgery.
Continuous monitoring of the fetal heart rate. Continuous monitoring has been known to cause a higher rate in Cesarean sections. Research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4010242/ Allows a laboring mom to relax if she has not been able to with other pain coping techniques.
Changing sides every 30 minutes to distribute the medication. Pain may subside within 10-20 minutes of the placement of the epidural.
Epidurals can slow down labor and/or stop labor. xxx
Some laboring women experience shivering, nausea, ringing in the ears, pain where needle was inserted, shaking, itching. xxx
A catheter will be placed in the urethra to keep bladder empty since you can’t get up and go to the bathroom. xxx
Epidurals may make pushing difficult because you are numb and your muscles aren’t as effective. xxx
You may need help getting baby out with forceps or with a vacuum extractor xxx
If labor slows down or stops, you may need help with medication to speed up labor. Pitocin is an artificial form of the hormone oxytocin. Risks of Pitocin are uterine overstimulation causing fetal distress, drop in fetal heart rate, rupture of the uterus. xxx