Epidurals are so commonly administered to women in labor that they are
often viewed as an expected part of the birth process. While they are
generally considered safe, epidurals are not without significant risks
and should be considered thoughtfully and carefully before determining
if they are right for you.
What are the Potential Problems Epidurals Can Cause?
Epidurals work by interrupting nerve signals between motor and sensory
nerves located in the area surrounding the spinal cord, lessening the
sensation of pain in the lower body. While it is effective at helping
mothers manage the pain of childbirth, it also
inhibits the release of beta-endorphins. Beta-endorphins are hormones that a woman’s body produces during
labor, which are natural opiates that produce pleasurable feelings in
the body. They are also responsible for the release of another substance
called prolactin, which is necessary for breastfeeding and helping mature
a baby’s lungs.
In addition to interfering with the release of beta-endorphins and prolactin,
epidurals also limit the production of another essential hormone called oxytocin. During labor, oxytocin is naturally released by the body to stimulate
the uterine muscles and facilitate the labor process. It is also responsible
for the contraction of the uterine muscles after birth to prevent postpartum
hemorrhaging. With a decrease in these chemicals, an epidural actually
makes the mother work harder to give birth, and
babies are four times more likely to present in a posterior position at
the time of delivery. This is why delivery aids like forceps or vacuums are more commonly used
among women who have received epidurals, consequently
increasing the chance that the newborn will suffer a
epidurals lengthen the birthing process, which can be dangerous for mothers with certain medical conditions, like
high blood pressure or diabetes.
Have You Suffered Complications After Receiving an Epidural?
Your doctor should consider your personal health and medical history when
determining whether an epidural will increase the likelihood of adverse
effects to you and your baby.
Failure to consider and disclose all risk factors could constitute a breach
of duty if their negligence results in a birth injury.
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of your
physician, call the Chicago birth injury lawyers at
Beam & Raymond as soon as possible. You have the right to hold your physician or other
care provider accountable by pursuing compensation for past and future
medical bills related to your delivery. While no amount of money can ever
make an error like this right, it can help ensure that your child’s
future care and wellbeing is provided for.
We are committed to protecting the rights of injured children and dedicate
ourselves to doing whatever it takes to secure justice on their behalf.
Our attorneys are available to take cases nationwide.
free case review with our compassionate team, please call us at (866) 766-3806.