The above posts refer to risks to the mother.
There are risks to the baby as well. An epidural does affect the nervous system of the baby (research is scanty [no funding, no duh]). The drug is passed throught the placental filter.
The longer the epi is in tho, the worse the risk. So, if you are just having one put in, say 15 or so mins before your planned c-sec, the baby would be less affected than if it was in for hours as most moms today use them, for pain relief.
The effect on the baby's nervous system can mess with their nursing abilitiees (root, latch properly, suck, swallow, breathe). This can take up to a month to wear off. And women today wonder why they "can't nurse!"
Just for the record, an anecdote. My first was an unscheduled c-sec. The epi was in for less than half an hour before my dd was delivered of me. She nursed like a champ from the start. After the birth, I was given Dilaudid and it had no effect on her nursing abilities either.
Q) What is Dilaudid?
A) Dilaudid is an analgesic narcotic with an addiction liability similar to that of morphine. It is apparent within 15 minutes and remains in effect for more than 5 hours. Dilaudid is approximately 8 times more potent on a milligram basis than morphine. Often called "drug store heroin" on the streets.