Epidural Risks during Pregnancy

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Epidural Risks during Pregnancy : Complications may arise when one undergoes an epidural, find out what they are and be informed.

Epidural Risks during Pregnancy

Epidural Risks during Pregnancy: Complications may arise when one undergoes an epidural, find out what they are and be informed.

Epidural Risks during Pregnancy

Epidural anesthesia is probably the most common type of anesthesia given to mothers in labor around the world. It greatly relieves labor pains but lets mothers stay awake and alert; it relaxes the pelvic muscles allowing the cervix to dilate easily and it lowers blood pressure in hypertensive mothers. Many doctors however fail to discuss the side effects of epidurals and the administration of anesthesia during childbirth. Because of this, the mother gives her consent without being fully informed.

There are many risks in the administration of anesthesia. Adverse reactions are always a possibility because of the entry of a needle into the spinal column. However, paralysis and other nerve injuries that most people are afraid of rarely occur. The medication itself may cause side effects. Some of these are toxicity due to high amounts of anesthesia, or spinal block, dropping of maternal blood pressure to dangerously low levels, allergic reactions, fetal distress, headaches, and any kind of neurological injury.

The most common side effect of using epidural anesthesia, however, is that the labor process slows down significantly when administered. It also weakens the mother’s ability to contract her abdominal muscles to push out the baby during delivery. And lastly, patients given epidural anesthesia especially during the early stages of labor were shown to undergo more cesarean and forceps deliveries. Mothers considering having an epidural during labor should be informed of the risks involved.

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