Weighing the Risks

May 5, 2012, 9:00 am by Scientific American: Health

One of the biggest choices an expectant mother faces is how to handle the pain of childbirth. More than 60 per­cent of American women choose relief in the form of an epi­dural, a combination of local anesthetic and narcotic administered into the epidural space surrounding the spinal cord. Although most doctors believe that the injections are safe, a new study suggests that they may increase the risk that a mother will develop a fever during labor, which could, in rare instances, pose risks to her baby. [More]

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