BBC article on how epidurals "protect your pelvic muscles"

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jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780
BBC article on how epidurals "protect your pelvic muscles"

A friend posted this on facebook:


I suspect, first, that the study was looking at medicated vs. unmedicated OB births, not with midwifes. And from my own experience I know that not all OBs know how to help an unmedicated mother protect her pelvic muscles.
I also know I've seen studies that say the exact opposite. Hm.

krazykat's picture
Joined: 08/11/07
Posts: 1143

My first thought is that it is a pretty small study. And I hate how you never see the actual study. Statistics can be manipulated and phrased to sound any way you want sometimes.

One thing that I thought may be contradictory is that they said "the key" was a long pushing phase. So women who pushed longer had more damage to pelvic muscles. But doesn't research show pretty consistently that women with epidurals typically push longer?

I guess I am all about preventative maintenance, so I have been doing my Kegel exercises faithfully. I thought it was a joke when I was pregnant with DD and never really did them, but they make a BIG difference. I guess I would rather do everything beforehand that I can, and I wonder how many moms take it seriously and actually do them. That can have a significant affect on prolapse later on.

If it was actually a well-designed, appropriately interpreted study, I would still rather take the risk of prolapse at some point than some of the other risks associated with epidurals. The article also said that studies have shown that epidurals do NOT increase the risk of c/s... and I know that is not entirely the case.

I'm not sure... I'd have to see the actual study to take it very seriously I think.

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

Sorry I'm having a hard time reading it because it's bothering me. Stupid I know but all it seems to be doing is saying that women who birth natural are doing more damage to their body than those that have medical interventions, which is a bunch of BS. Having had both a natural birth and one that had about every medical intervention other than a c-section, including vacuuming baby out, my body recovered much faster with the natural birth and I feel a lot more healthy as well. Also those muscles are affected, not just from giving birth but just from a pregnancy period. There are reasons why doing your keggles are so important and strengthening those muscles is one key factor in doing them. The women that don't do those regularly are usually the ones that have issues later on.

Joined: 01/22/07
Posts: 170

"kridda_88" wrote:

There are reasons why doing your keggles are so important and strengthening those muscles is one key factor in doing them. The women that don't do those regularly are usually the ones that have issues later on.

I have actually heard mixed things about those these days?

Jorgie girl posted an article on it way back when on her facebook?

Jordan, you still got that somewhere?

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I read this series of blog posts a while ago with info from biomechanical scientist Katy Bowman about pelvic floor exercises:

She seems to believe that squatting during pregnancy has a lot more benefit than traditional Kegels alone.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Those are the articles about kegels...which are great, but ONLY doing kegels will make for an unbalanced pelvic floor, which doesn't do you any favours either. It's definately an interesting read, those articles by Katy Bowman.

I agree with the differences between midwife and OB 'pushing techniques'. I had an unmedicated birth overseen by an OB, and I pushed when they told me to while lying on my back for almst 4 hours. With my midwives, I pushed in whatever position I wanted and only when I felt it. What a difference!

SaucyVidel's picture
Joined: 07/20/06
Posts: 634

I loved that article series, it is definitely food for thought.

And short of any actual study in hand, I am skeptical of ANY study that concludes something contrary to common sense and medical findings, of which this study is both.

MamaArty_RMT's picture
Joined: 11/09/05
Posts: 805

Interesting (and by interesting I mean appalling) that they neglected to mention any of the myriad and potential very serious side effects of epidurals.

Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
Joined: 09/15/09
Posts: 1380

Actually they say this:

Epidurals are now used by about a third of women during childbirth in the UK and two-thirds in the US. They have had a mixed press in recent years, but studies show they are low risk and do not increase the need for a Caesarean section.

That alone makes me throw this whole thing out. The 2/3 use of epi in the US is just scary to me.

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

Great response from Science and Sensibility