Epidural Anesthesia and its Impact on Lactation Initiation & Duration (Pre-Con Track A)

Pre-Conference A, Session One

Epidural anesthesia during labor and delivery and its possible impact on the lactating dyad has been a controversial topic for many years. Numerous studies have been conducted to conclude whether or not a person should accept epidural anesthesia without concern over feeding issues. With epidural use becoming more common, we are left to wonder if clients are aware of the risks that may be involved. In Westernized countries, roughly 50–70% of birthing women have epidurals for pain relief. The purpose of this research is to examine and identify potential issues associated with epidural anesthesia and how it may impede lactation initiation and duration.

Epidural use during labor has been increasing over the last several years. Along with the increase in epidural use, we have also seen an increase in cesarean deliveries, lactation issues, and a decrease in duration. Investigating the studies that have been completed, it will be possible to identify if epidural use is impeding lactation initiation by either affecting the fetus, delivery, or postpartum recovery of the mother. Increasing support to families who desire a medicated delivery may help to increase lactation feeding rates overall.

This pre-conference presentation will help the doula to become more aware of the possible negative effects that may prevail when epidural use during labor and delivery is promoted as safe for birth.

Pre-Conference Info:

Participants may choose either Track A or Track B. All three sessions in the respective track are included for the add-on registration fee of $99 ($125 late). If all 3 sessions in the track are attended, 6 contact hours will be awarded.