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Are epidurals during labor harmful to mother and baby?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2018 | Pregnancy-Related Injuries

Since the use of epidurals became available during the labor process, mothers in Massachusetts and elsewhere have had a much easier time delivering newborns.

Epidurals are used to minimize pain during the labor and birthing process and in some cases, may eliminate pain altogether. Less pain is beneficial to both mother and baby as it can reduce some of the stress and anxiety associated with childbirth.

As with all medical procedures, epidurals can pose a risk of creating birth-related injuries in both mother and infant. In most cases, these risks are very minimal, especially when the medical team practices due caution. However, pregnant mothers should understand these risks in case the need for an epidural should arise.

An epidural involves an anesthesiologist injecting drugs into the mother’s lower back. The procedure decreases sensation in the mother’s lower regions by blocking nerve impulses that normally carry pain. Ideally, the mother can go on to deliver her infant without the incapacitation and stress severe pain may cause.

Performing an epidural requires meticulous attention to detail and caution on the part of the anesthesiologist. If the person giving the epidural fails to perform the procedure correctly, it could lead to some serious injuries.

The mother’s blood pressure could suddenly drop. This requires immediate intervention by the medical team.

The mother will have less control over her body. The medical team will need to help a mother reposition her body regularly following an epidural. Failure to do so could cause labor to slow or even stop, which could lead to complications.

Some medical professionals believe that an epidural could cause the infant to suffer respiratory distress. It can also result in problems with the fetal heart rate.

The mother may suffer permanent nerve damage in the region where the epidural was performed.

It can be difficult to identify whether an epidural led to pregnancy-related injuries in the mother or the infant. However, presenting your case to an injury attorney can help you determine if your suffering was caused by a negligent medical provider.