A BBC News article on the 12th January reports on a study by researchers at Bath's Royal United Hospital, which suggests that the "risk of epidurals and spinal anaesthetics to expectant mothers and patients undergoing surgery may be being overstated."
The researchers analysed the complications from the 700,000 pain-killing injections given each year and "found the risk of harm was at least as low as one in 23,000 - 10 times less than tends to be estimated. Experts said it was important patients were told about the true risk."
You can read the article in full here, but it continues: "Researchers said expectant mothers, in particular, should not be overly concerned as their risk of permanent harm was as low a one in 80,000."
Spinal anesthesia rather than an epidural is often used in planned cesarean deliveries today, but this research is worth being aware of for both cesarean and vaginal delivery risk information.