Understanding The More Subtle Epidural Side Effects
The Advantages of Natural Labor
These more subtle, yet extremely important, epidural side effects have to do with hormone levels, bonding and breastfeeding.
Some will argue there's no right or wrong way to have a baby when it comes to labor pain management. Is this true? While I don't think a right/wrong judgment is helpful or productive, the fact is that the way you give birth does make a difference.
There is a wisdom and beauty in the dance of natural labor. For both mother and baby, it is an expression of physiologic, mental and emotional needs, as well as personality. It is a process that cannot be mimicked or manipulated in any way that does justice to the perfect timing and unfolding of Nature.
There is a hormonal blueprint for birth, perfected through evolution, that we can access and benefit greatly from when we allow it to be fully expressed.
Epidurals and other interventions, because they drastically alter the normal physiology of birth, are shown to hinder hormone production in such a way that they don't reach the peak levels that occur when birth unfolds naturally.
Dr. Sarah Buckly explains, “Ecstatic birth is Mother Nature’s hormonal blueprint for all women. It’s not just something some women can experience. Every woman during the process of labor and birth produces peak levels of birthing hormones. What we’re beginning to understand is how important the circumstances of childbirth are for the whole hormonal orchestration. And many of the interventions that are commonly used in maternity care today will reduce the release of these hormones in a laboring woman’s body and make her birth less ecstatic, less pleasurable and actually less safe for herself and her baby.”
These hormonal differences combined with other epidural side effects, such as those that result in separation of mother and baby, are what can negatively affect bonding and breastfeeding.
I advocate for women understanding this and whenever possible setting themselves up to take advantage of the hormonal synergy that makes the birth optimally safe and stimulating for her and the baby.
Read about Other Side Effects of Epidural
Return from Epidural Side Effects to Epidural Anasthesia