Thursday, April 3, 2014


I always hear that one of the most physically painful experiences one can go through is giving birth. Watching the movie in class and reading the article made me wonder, why in the world would anyone voluntarily opt to not take epidurals during pregnancy? I know mothers claim that they are more emotionally connected to their children if they had a natural birth because of they endure an intense amount of pain, but are there any physical and health advantages to such an approach. After doing a little research, it turns out; painkillers may very well hinder birth and the health of the child. With the incomplete maturation of the blood-brain barrier and liver, the infant is more vulnerable to the chemicals of the epidurals. Studies show that this can decrease both brain function and response, which no mother would want to risk for their child.  This raises the question, if pain killers can be hazardous to the child’s health, why are they even allowed? Apparently, a lot of drug used during labor are not even approved by the FDA. For those drugs the FDA does allow, since the benefits act immediately, but the side effects may not be noticeable until several years down the road, they take the risk. The FDA doesn’t not take into account that the drugs may cause developmental problems of the child later in life and do not test for those affects. So as a mother, why even take the chance? The tradeoff of experiencing hours of pain instead of a lifetime of suffering for your child seems to be worth it.

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