The effects of maternal lumbar epidural analgesia (Th10-L5) on the neonatal neurobehavioural response were studied at the ages of 3 h, 1 day, 2 days and 4-5 days. The subjects were healthy, full-term neonates, born vaginally to 15 mothers with lumbar epidural block and 19 mothers without analgesia. Those delivered with epidural analgesia scored significantly better on alertness at the age of 3 h, 2 days and 4-5 days than the control group. No other statistically significant differences were found between the groups. The formation of the two groups according to the mothers' desire for epidural analgesia may have contributed to differences in the process of labour, but with this reservation it may be suggested that lumbar epidural analgesia may enhance the infant's recovery from the stress of labour and vaginal delivery.