Painfreebirthing.com

Welcome to pain relief options during childbirth

How does pain relief affect labor?

Bhavani Shankar Kodali MD

Epidural analgesia minimally lengthens labor and does not increase the risk of cesarean delivery
  • Patients receiving epidural analgesia have longer labors when compared to women receiving I.V method of childbirth pain relief. Numerous studies have shown that the difference is approximately one hour on an average. However, this may be highly variable depending on your labor pattern.
  • Epidural analgesia does not increase the risk of cesarean delivery. Randomized clinical trials present powerful evidence that there is no added risk of cesarean delivery owing to epidural analgesia. 
  • The relationship between epidural analgesia and forceps deliveries is complex.  Some studies have shown more forceps deliveries in patients with epidurals while others have not. This may be highly dependent on practice style and preferences of your own obstetrician.
  • Patient satisfaction and neonatal outcome are better after epidural than I.V method of childbirth pain relief.

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