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Routine Epidural Turns Deadly

This is an article I've gotten several times through emails or my doula groups, so I thought I would pass it on and share. It's a pretty sad tale, but I think it speaks more to hospital cleanliness & care than to the actual epidural procedure. Still, given the number of folks who make such flippant comments as "There's no risks with epidurals", it pays to be aware.

Julie LeMoult's Story

Also, take a look at the following:

Epidural Risks & Side Effects

Medical Risks of Epidural Anesthesia During Childbirth

Epidurals can be a blessing for women in labor, but it always pays to review both benefits and risks in order to decide what's best for each family. The misconception that epidurals are prefectly safe needs to be addressed. It's so sad to see a momma make a comment like, "I want my epidural when I get to the parking lot of the hospital!" Or even worse, the constant "Are you ready for your epidural now?" by nurses. Taken too early in labor, epidurals can slow labor progress and lead to even more interventions. With an epidural you immediately have: continuous fetal monitoring, catheterization, IV, and you must remain in bed. All too often, it also leads to more interventions like artificial rupture of membranes (to try to 'speed up' labor if it stalls as a result of the epidural), vacuum/forceps if mother can't feel well enough to push, episiotomies, and even cesareans.

I have supported mothers who received epidurals, and it allowed a much-needed rest. They certainly have their place in the birthing room, but let's make sure that the misconceptions are banished, and that the choice is truly an informed one.



Jun. 20th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
Sometimes labor can stall when the laboring mother feels upset, anxious, watched, tense. The nurse pushing for the epidural seems like it might have empowered this teenager. For her to see someone standing up to her mother for what SHE wanted, not her mother...And for the nurse to be pushing for something directly related to the pregnancy against her mothers wishes was probably a big deal. Seems like the mother was probably controling and negative towards the girl the whole way through.....SO by getrting the epi she probably felt empowered and confident in her choice. Sorry if that was redundant lol.
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Jun. 20th, 2006 02:43 am (UTC)
thats what happens when births are put on tv for a profit. Its either drama or nothing ya know.
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Jun. 20th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
make sure to give yourself credit. not everyone drops the f-bomb :) birthing from withing and hypno-birthing mongan methood are two books i'd read before you give birth. great books for dispelling the tv births we are all bombarded with. :)