What Do We Know About Epidurals & Second Stage Of Labor ?


I am a very passionate about advocating for women's rights. Since I found Evidence Based Birth, I cannot stop encouraging women to watch Rebecca Dekker's videos and/or to read her articles. I am very particular with what I read and I highly recommend this website and her articles because she carefully reads and reviews the different research that has been published about pregnancy, labor and birth, and postpartum.

I am following her current series about pain management and the effects of epidurals in women. Although, I like to highlight what I consider the most interested or key points in her presentation, I encourage you to take some time and watch the entire video.

In the video, "Effects of Epidurals on the Second Stage of Labor," was mentioned:

1. "The second stage of labor begins when the cervix is fully dilated, includes the pushing phase, and ends when the baby is born. This is an important topic about the length of the second stage of labor because longer second stages have been linked with worse health outcomes for the mother, including a higher risk of infection, a higher risk of having a severe tear, a higher risk of post partum hemorrhage, and a higher risk of needing forceps/vacuum or Cesarean."

2. "Researches have suggested that epidurals could potentially decrease the mothers pushing efforts by reducing the effectiveness of the uterine contractions during the pushing phase. And possibly, they might relax the pelvic floor, which would affect the baby as it is rotating and coming out."

3. "A large body of research evidence has shown that epidurals are linked to a longer second stage of labor. This has been demonstrated in large observational studies as well as in randomized control trials."