Fetal Head Position Influenced by Epidural

Published Online: Friday, July 1, 2005

A study done at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass, showed that receiving an epidural analgesic during labor increases the risk of the fetus assuming a face-up position. Instead of the face-up position sparking the need for an epidural, research shows that it is more probable that the epidural causes the repositioning.

Researchers used ultrasound data from 1562 women during labor and delivery, 92% of whom received epidurals. They noted that fetal position changes were common during labor. At the initial examination, ~49% of fetuses were facing sideways, 27% facing down, and 24% facing up. At delivery, the rates were 8%, 80%, and 12%, respectively.

In epidural patients, 12.9% of fetuses were delivered face-up, but only 3.3% in nonepidural patients.

Latest Articles
This weekly video program provides our readers with an in-depth review of the latest news, product approvals, FDA rulings and more.
Chronic kidney disease incidence has grown faster than many of its common comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, and medications may be an underappreciated driver of this growth.
President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal calls for an additional $1.1 billion to combat the nation’s spiraling opioid epidemic.
Baxter International is voluntarily recalling intravenous solution due to leaking containers and the potential for particulate matter.
Latest Issues