Your Pregnancy - - Features -

“It might af­fect baby.” There’s no con­clu­sive proof that epidu­ral anaes­thetic has any ef­fect on baby, since the drugs are lo­calised to the nerves around the lower spine and don’t travel through the blood­stream like mor­phine or other pain meds do. “It can make you paral­ysed for life.” While pos­si­ble, nerve dam­age is “ex­tremely rare” (1 in 240 000), ac­cord­ing to anaes­thetist Dr Pi­eter Roux. “It slows down labour.” While some stud­ies re­port an epidu­ral can ham­per the cas­cade of hor­mones such as oxy­tocin and en­dor­phins that help a mom push in the fi­nal stages, Dr Jones says there is still not enough con­clu­sive ev­i­dence to prove an epidu­ral slows labour.

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