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Zentralbl Gynakol. 1985;107(9):521-31.

Maternal and fetal effects of epidural analgesia during labour.


We can state that an effective pain relief during labour, like epidural analgesia, is indicated and it prevents or modifies the pain-induced harmful effects on mother and the fetus. Maternal and fetal ACTH or BE response in labour are not altered, but the increase of maternal cortisol secretion is reduced, thus probably suggesting a lesser maternal stress, to which also point the changes of PRL. Epidural analgesia prevents harmful maternal metabolic changes like hyperventilation, hypocapnia, metabolic acidosis and lactic acid accumulation. These beneficial effects are also reflected in a better fetal and neonatal condition. Carbohydrate and fat metabolism, on the contrary, seem not to be significantly changed by epidural analgesia. Epidural analgesia is beneficial also by reducing the pain induced catecholamine release, and by improving the intervillous blood flow, especially in pre-eclamptic parturients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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