I'm not going to lie, I bow at the altar of the epidural. After having one unmedicated labor and delivery and juxtaposing it against the delightful occasion that was my delivery with my daughter, I would make out with a cat for an epidural. Because for me, that medicine was some Hogwarts magic brought to New York City. But there are risks, as there are with any medical procedure. In the interest of fairness and objectivity, there aresome epidural side effects after giving birth that you should be aware of so you're fully prepared.
It's important to note that in general, epidurals are a very safe form of pain relief. Well over half of women will get an epidural during their labor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And, according to an enormous study published in the British Journal of Anesthesia,the risks are lower than ever. Somewhere between 1 in 6,000 and 1 in 80,000 (yes, 80,000) women will experience either temporary or permanent problems related to anesthesia.
I spoke with Dr. Gary Schwartz interventional pain physician and Director of Acute Pain Management at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Schwartz is board-certified in both Pain Management and Anesthesiology, and he tells Romper, "The most common problems aren't dangerous, but instead disappointing." Meaning, they're not deadly, but you're not getting the pain relief you thought you would. Thankfully, many are repairable.