If you've ever requested an epidural in childbirth, you know that you want that pain relief just as soon as you ask for it. And new research suggests that, indeed, the very moment you ask is exactly the appropriate time to get it.
Researchers reviewed data from nine studies, for a total of close to 16,000 first-time mothers, who were randomly selected to receive their epidurals early or late in labor. The data showed that the administration of earlier epidurals had no impact on the chances of deliveries requiring the use of forceps or suction, or to the amount of time moms spent pushing.
On the contrary, the study's head researcher Dr. Ban Leong Sng wrote, "The right time to give the epidural is when the woman requests pain relief. If they request an epidural early during their labor, the evidence we have does not provide a compelling reason why this should be refused."
Did you opt for an epidural, and did it affect your delivery outcome?
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