Intrapartum Epidural Analgesia and Onset of Lactation: A Prospective Study in an Italian Birth Centre

Paola Agnese Mauri, Norma Nilde Guerrini Contini, Simona Giliberti, Francesco Barretta, Dario Consonni, Mariangela Negri, Irene Di Benedetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between epidural analgesia (EDA) in labor and the onset of lactation in healthy women after birth. In a Regional Perinatal Center in northern Italy, women who had had a vaginal delivery were recruited by convenience sampling. Analyses were carried out on the data of 366 women. 209 women received EDA and 157 women did not receive EDA or any other pharmacological analgesia. A structured follow-up was carried out interviewing women by telephone after 5 days and, a second time, 20 days after delivery. The primary outcome was the time (in hours) of the onset of lactation. Timing of the onset of lactation in the EDA and non-EDA groups did not statistically differ (p = 0.15), although the non-EDA group was more likely to initiate breastfeeding. On the basis of the results of this study, we concluded that intrapartum EDA does not have an effect on delays in the onset of lactation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-518
Number of pages8
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Breastfeeding
  • Epidural analgesia
  • Initiation of lactation
  • Onset of lactation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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