Women that have epidurals are much more likely to stop breastfeeding before six months. Epidurals ‘hamper breastfeeding’:
Three-quarters of those who had no analgesia were breastfeeding at 24 weeks, compared with 53% who received pethidine or epidurals.
The epidural is also tied to trouble breastfeeding in the first week. They don’t know why, but one theory is that the epidurals make the babies more sleepy and it’s harder to breastfeed them.
I had an epidural against my wishes. (Well, the epidural wasn’t against my wishes – being tied to the bed was. Once I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed, sit up or turnover, I gave in to an epidural.) And I quit breastfeeding after a month – a very hard decision.