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To clarify: our national epidural rate is well below 20%.  That includes women having epidurals for c-sections, for which the rate is under 15% nationally.  At my hospital we are at national average on CS, below on epidurals, around 15%.  We are still using the old fashioned bupivacaine bolus type.  Most women give birth without them.  I repeat, I do not see a disproportionate number of BF problems in the early days in women who have had epidurals.  Very few women get fevers in connection with their epidurals, we don't see it as a problem, actually.  There are more instrumental deliveries with epidurals, but still, the majority of women having epidurals for a vaginal birth give birth nearly normally (Pitocin augmentation aside).  We do use too much meperidine (Pethidine, Demerol) and that sure doesn't make BF easier, but it still works.  I will again point out that this is a BF culture.  It takes more than an epidural to stop a woman in such a culture.  I also attend home births regularly, where no medications are used before birth and only local infiltration for sutures as needed.  A few of those mothers have trouble with BF too.  Not many, but it happens.
Rachel Myr [log in to unmask]
Kristiansand, Norway

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