My boyfriend Charles was the initial advocate for natural childbirth. Any time the word “epidural” was mentioned amongst family or friends, he stood firm defending his position of a drug free labor. When I first heard him verbalize his opinion, I immediately thought to myself “oh no, this is going to become a huge fight between us” because I couldn’t fathom pushing a baby out of my vagina without some sort of medication to ease the pain. Every woman I had talked to spoke of childbirth being this horrifying pain WITH an epidural, there was no way I was going to then eliminate my only hope of numbness. However to humor my boyfriend, I did a small amount of research on the effects of epidural on the baby. I wanted to make sure my sources were reliable and my information wasn’t coming from preachy-hippy-naturalist activists.

To my surprise , I found out epidurals do reach the fetus and there are also quite a few risks. The FDA’s website has several articles on the risks of receiving an epidural for your own personal health as well as the baby’s. They proclaim all drugs taken during pregnancy can potentially effect the fetus and encourage all women to read the packaging inserts/labels. I found this artical posted on the FDA’s website to be helpful regarding the personal risks of receiving an epidural:

http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/TipsandArticlesonDeviceSafety/ucm070030.

AIMUSA provided their own research in addition to the FDA’s and outright states “no drugs are safe to use during pregnancy”, including FDA approved obstetrics drugs. Here is the link to that page:

http://www.aimsusa.org/obstetricdrugs.htm

For a simpler easy to read layout on risks and “benefits” of epidural, the american pregnancy association provides this page:

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/epidural.html

As you can see, an hours worth of research completely transformed my thoughts on having a natural childbirth. I encourage all pregnant women to do their own research and see what conclusion they reach.

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