Contrary to long-held belief, pregnant women can receive low-dose epidurals to reduce pain early in labor without increasing the risk of a Caesarean section, according to new research. Doctors worried that the numbing effect of the epidural would impede on a woman's ability to push, thereby prolonging labor and prompting a C-section, but the study of 728 women found that women receiving the epidural early in labor had no higher rates of C-sections.

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