Alert of the negative effects of epidural in newborns

The Epidural anesthesia It is very used by some women when it comes to giving birth because relieves labor pains But does it have consequences for the baby? According to a study carried out by scientists from the University of Granada (UGR), babies born under the effect of this anesthesia present "a slight decrease in the Apgar test index", a quick test that is performed on the newborn to assess his general health status.

This is the main conclusion of the work of the researchers from Granada, published in the journal Midwifery after analyzing a total of 2,609 children born between 2010 and 2013 at the San Juan de la Cruz Hospital in Úbeda (Jaén).


Another of the main results of the study is that babies born with epidural they needed resuscitation in a greater percentage, they required more to be admitted in the Intensive care unit (ICU) neonatal and began to a lesser extent early breastfeeding than those who had been born without this injection for the mother.

Epidural anesthesia in childbirth

"Epidural anesthesia is one of the different alternatives used to relieve the pain in the Birth", explains the main author of the study, the professor of the department of Nursing of the UGR Concepción Ruiz Rodríguez, who adds that currently it is the strategy" best valued for its effectiveness, so its use has been extended importantly in developed countries. "


Although the advantages attributed to this analgesia are many, "a series of adverse defects, both on the mother and on the child", warns the expert." The adverse effects described on the child are attributed to the direct pharmacological effect, due to placental transfer of the drug administered by the mother, or to a secondary indirect effect as a result of the physiological changes that the drug produces. in the mother, how are the changes hormonal", he explains.

Expert discussion on the effects of epidurals for babies

The data on the effects of epidural on babiesHowever, they are contradictory and are being discussed by health professionals, which led the authors of this research to consider the convenience of studying its effect on different parameters of the newborn.


Their results "show that Epidural analgesia has certain adverse effects about the newborn, in which it is necessary to deepen", says the researcher, who adds that it is important" that both health professionals (obstretas and midwives) and mothers know and have these risks in mind when making a decision about their administration. "

Angela R. Bonachera

Video: Dr Oz Dangers of Epidurals


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