Early Epidurals Do Not Increase Risk of Cesarean Delivery
A study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital refutes the popular belief that getting an epidural early in labor increases a woman's risk of cesarean delivery. The study was widely covered by media outlets around the country, including the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, the New York Times and the Chicago Sun-Times.
In the study of 750 women, researchers found that getting an epidural when the cervix is less than four centimeters dilated did not increase the cesarean delivery rate and provided significantly better pain relief. "We also found shorter labors in the early epidural group compared to those who received the standard narcotic