Back when she was 12, Princess Eugenie was diagnosed with scoliosis, undergoing surgery to correct her curved spine.
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While the spinal procedure went smoothly, it's likely that scoliosis still impacts Princess Eugenie's life to this day, and never more so than when she gave birth to her son August in February 2021. Due to her health condition, it is likely that Eugenie's labour was vastly different to that of the Duchess of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and even her sister Princess Beatrice.
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Scoliosis sees the spine twist and curve to one side, and the princess' surgery would have seen two metal rods inserted along her back and two 1.5-inch screws fixed to her neck during the eight-hour procedure.
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The positioning of these rods means the princess may have faced a harder labour, as an epidural, which helps with pain relief in labour, may not have been possible.
The location of the rods in her spine means that they may block the needle from being inserted into the lumbar spine, below the chest and above the sacrum, where it needs to go.
Princess Eugenie showed her surgery scar on her wedding day
Carrie Sirry, birth coach and midwife, and founder of The Birth Collective and Rising Mother explained: "Any back issues such as scoliosis may pose challenges with siting an epidural."
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Eugenie could have been offered other options for pain relief, instead. She may have had local anaesthetic (injected around the vaginal area, and not for the pain that comes with contractions in your abdomen), gas and air or opioid analgesics. Carrie adds that hypnobirthing, TENS machines and a birthing pool can also help.
August is a healthy and happy baby
Either way, Eugenie and her son August are both happy and healthy, and Eugenie continues to champion the scoliosis community.
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