Increased duration of labor with epidurals
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This retrospective cohort study of 42,268 women who delivered cephalic singletons vaginally during the years of 1976–2008 compared the duration of the second stage of labor in women with and without epidurals. Women with the following risk factors were excluded: placenta previa, intrauterine fetal demise, or known lethal congenital anomalies. Bottom line: Epidurals prolong the second stage of labor. Prolonged second stage appears to lead to higher rates of birth trauma.
Evidence Based Practice 18(3): 5