The Epidural Trip:
Why are so many women taking dangerous drugs during labor?
by Judy Slome Cohain
Abstract: Two million American women will take an epidural trip this year during childbirth. In most cases, they’ll be ill-informed as to possible side effects or alternate methods of pain relief. In many ways, epidurals are the drug trip of the current generation. Similar to street drug pushers, most anesthesiologists in the delivery rooms maintain a low profile, avoid making eye contact and threaten to walk out if they don’t get total cooperation. Women get epidurals for one of the main reasons so many women smoked pot in the 1970s—their friends are doing it. This article examines why so many women in the Western world are compelled to take powerful drugs during their labor and exposes the risks epidurals pose to both mother and baby.
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© 2010 Midwifery Today, Inc. All rights reserved.
[Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 95, Autumn 2010.]