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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Jan 26

    Comparing APGAR scores between epidural and non-epidural births

    Archived User


    I am a childbirth educator and was shocked when during one of our classes a student presented me with a Cochrane Database study showing that baby's whose mothers received epidurals had higher APGAR scores at 5 minutes post-partum when compared to those whose mothers did not. This sounds like one of the most rediculous things I have ever heard. Are you at all familiar with this study and if so, could you offer me some insight into this?

    Henci Goer

     I have the review. To begin with, the difference just missed achieving statistical significance, which means the difference might have been due to chance. Even if it was a true difference, it amounted to fewer than one more baby with an Apgar less than 7 per 100. Third, a 5-min Apgar score less than 7 has pretty much no predictive value for any long-term outcome. But leaving all that aside, we aren't talking about epidural vs. no drugs. Women in the comparison group almost certainly had narcotic analgesia, which is well-known to have adverse effects on the baby's condition at birth.

    ~ Henci 

    Archived User

    That's good to know. Thank you for the clarification.

    All Times America/New_York

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