What Are The Risks?

1525 Words7 Pages
Epidurals - What are the Risks?

She is a twenty-year old newlywed, pregnant with her second child. She wants the best for her family, especially the unborn child inside her, but she 's not exactly sure of the questions to ask, let alone the consequences of her decisions. The doctors voice rings out again waking her from her internal struggle, "Do you think you 'd like medication during the birthing process or would you like to adopt a more natural approach?" She looks again to her husband whose vacant stare has become all too familiar during these medical visits.

This was the encounter that I had when going through the pre-birthing advisement. Though I feel confident that the information I received was competent and honest, I am equally confident that I was not aware of all of my options and the resulting consequences of each of them. While every mother wants what is best for her unborn child, many laboring women are uninformed when it comes to the epidurals that they give consent for and what it does or can do to themselves and their child.

Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time and yet only in recent decades has pain relief been available during childbirth. According to a British medical journal, as recently as 1946, women were using labor drugs including chloroform and nitrous oxide as pain relief. Even then, still 68% of women opted for no pain relief at all. Twelve years later, that percentage was cut in half, to only 34% birthing with no pain
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