Dr. Reitzel explains if a woman will be physically able to breastfeed after an epidural and discusses how the epidural affects the baby.
Read the full transcript »
The Effects of the Epidural on Mother and Child I certainly hope so because obviously if your breasts are numb then I have done something wrong, okay? So the goal is to numb basically from the rib cage down. So, there is no, from the rib cage down. There is absolutely no physical reason why an epidural would prevent mom from ever having been able to breastfeed. That’s actually kind of a complicated question. In the sense of, does the medicine that I give you cross into mom to affect the baby? The amounts are so very, very small it’s almost non- detectable in the blood. However, if you mean if mom is tense and has her own internal adrenalin high, she is ready, she is uncomfortable, that decreases the amount of blood flow that the baby actually sees. And if all of a sudden I take that away by making her comfortable, blood flow is restored to the uterus. The more blood flow to the uterus the more oxygen the baby gets and as a consequence the baby does better, then yeah, I would say it does affect the baby in a positive way.