Answer: Hello dear. Epidurals are widely considered safe, and probably you will be fine with or without one.
What worried me most personally was that epidurals have been proven in numerous medical studies to prolong the second (pushing) stage of labor because the mom can't feel to push well, sometimes leading to a vaccuum delivery or c-section. Often epidurals can slow progression a bit during active labor and thus about half of moms with epidurals get pitocin to strengthen their contractions, which can be stressful for the baby. On the other hand, because the epidural medication is inserted into the spinal column and not the bloodstream, less of the medication gets to the baby than with other drugs used during childbirth. Sometimes they are really useful because the mom can better relax and dilate. Hope it helps.
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