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Moving Beyond the Debate: A Holistic Approach to Understanding and Treating Effects of Neuraxial Analgesia


  • Penny Simkin PT

    Senior Faculty Member, Corresponding author
    1. Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations, Bastyr University, Seattle, Washington, United States
    • Private Practice of Childbirth Education and Labor Support, Seattle, Washington, United States
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Address correspondence to Penny Simkin, PT, 1100 23rd Ave. East, Seattle, WA 98112, USA.


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)