Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Tim Zehnder

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to compare traditional epidural analgesia to other low-dose epidural analgesic techniques e.g. combined spinal-epidural analgesia and mobile epidural analgesia. The risk and side-effects of each type of epidural had on both mother and the newborn was researched and discussed. This was a comprehensive analysis of several studies dating from 1989 to 2016. It was found that traditional epidural analgesia increased the risk for cesarean deliveries, vaginal assisted deliveries, longer duration of labor, postpartum hemorrhage, breastfeeding cessation, higher temperature, lower maternal satisfaction and failed catheters. No effect on the newborn was found. Combined spinal was associated a with significantly decreased risk for cesarean deliveries, vaginal assisted deliveries motor leg weakness, and catheter failure; along with mild side-effects; pruritus, nausea, drowsiness, and some motor weakness. No effect on the newborn was found. Mobile epidural was associated with less fecal incontinence, and an increased need for oxytocin. Women can get an epidural without the risks of long-term side-effects on her nor the newborn. I would recommend combined spinal epidural analgesia due to its effectiveness, low associated risk and high maternal satisfaction.

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