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Keywords:

  • cardiovascular system;
  • emotional needs;
  • endocrine system;
  • epidural analgesia;
  • fetus;
  • genitourinary system;
  • musculoskeletal system;
  • nervous system;
  • neuraxial analgesia;
  • newborn;
  • side effects;
  • undesired effects

Abstract

Neuraxial analgesia is here to stay, yet, spirited debate continues over potential harms and the quality of research that fails to identify them. This paper proposes moving beyond the debate and examining holistically the impact of neuraxial analgesia on the psychophysiology of mother and baby. A review of alterations in functioning of many systems is followed by a suggested four-part protocol to partially restore normal physiology and emotional well-being, and improve outcomes of neuraxial analgesia. (BIRTH 39:4 December 2012)