Friday, January 25, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
There are, however, downsides. An epidural literally paralyses you and the effects of it can be, according to the National Childbirth Trust, "an increase in assisted vaginal birth rate". There is some evidence that "sleepiness arising from the opiate may delay successful breast feeding". Some mothers also complain of having headaches and/or debilitating drowsiness for days afterwards. The natural-birth lobby will tell you that 23% of women will experience complications. The pro lobby will tell you that an epidural is one of the safest anaesthetics around.
I have to say I felt pretty cock-a-hoop straight after my epidural but, some hours later, my head felt as though someone large and heavy had been sitting on it. The next three times I gave birth, I had them all drug-free and at home. Did they hurt? Hell yes, but I felt so much better afterwards.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Here's an important research study that shows what we all know to be true, that ultrasound in late pregnancy is not a reliable source of weight estimation.
http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/119-1241/2146/Conclusion: The accuracy of ultrasound estimations of fetal weight performed at Wellington Hospital within 7 days of delivery in term singleton pregnancies was at least similar and sometimes better than that reported in other studies. For one in four women, however, the fetal weight estimation was more than 10% different from the actual birth weight of their infant. Ultrasound measurements had a tendency to overestimate the weight of small infants while underestimating the weight of both large infants and the infants of diabetic mothers. As the reliability of ultrasound estimation of fetal weight to detect larger babies was poor, the use of such an objective measurement in the management of suspected macrosomia in term singleton pregnancies should be avoided.