Not sure if you want an epidural or not? Here are some evidence-based downsides to weigh:
1 – Posterior Babies
Evidence shows that more babies are posterior when moms have epidurals. That leads to long labors and a strong chance of “failure to progress” – and often a c-section you didn’t want.
2 – Limited Mobility
It’s no surprise that women with an epidural can’t get up and move or even shift in bed. This is a problem for your baby, who has to try and move down with no help from you – and descend through a smaller space due to your semi-reclining position.
3 – Breastfeeding Difficulties
Babies have more trouble breastfeeding after you’ve had an epidural. Nurses report that epidural babies are less interested in nursing and they’re more likely to get supplement feeds that fill them up. This may delay your milk from coming in and lower your milk supply.
4 – Risk of Shoulder Dystocia
Limited mobility can lead to an increased chance of shoulder dystocia and nerve damage. During shoulder dystocia, baby’s head is born but the shoulders don’t come. A mom without labor meds can change positions to help her baby and care provider. A mom with an epidural is immobile, leading to riskier techniques to try and free her baby.
5 – Fetal Heart Rate Problems
Mothers and babies are both at risk for blood pressure and heart rate problems after an epidural, including lower oxygen levels for baby. You can’t move easily to relieve pressure on the cord, or to help reposition baby for more oxygen.
(NOTE: Know you want a beautiful natural birth, but feel overwhelmed? You’re not alone.
In fact, women like you are the reason I created my 1-on-1 pregnancy coaching program!
I work with mamas like you to move through an enjoyable, powerful pregnancy so that you’re ready for a powerful, beautiful birth experience.