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Anaesthesia. 1980 Dec;35(12):1173-81.

Maternal opinion about analgesia for labour. A controlled trial between epidural block and intramuscular pethidine combined with inhalation.

Abstract

In a randomised controlled trial epidural analgesia with bupivacaine 0.5% (mean dose 112.8 mg) was compared with pethidine (mean dose 200 mg) and inhalational analgesia in primipara (28 and 30 mothers) and multipara (17 and 18 mothers). Mothers who had an uneventful pregnancy and labour and agreed to have either treatment were studied during labour and followed-up at interviews for 5 months after delivery. Epidural block was rated significantly superior in respect of pain relief and comfort, there were no differences between the groups in reports of perineal discomfort. Twice as many primipara required forceps delivery after epidural block. Very few mothers, in each group, reported something missing in their experience of childbirth. Two thirds of each group would use the same method again. Epidural block can therefore be recommended to uncommitted mothers as a satisfying and effective method of pain relief for labour.

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