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Anesthesia Overview



Dr. O’Connor

There are several methods of pain relief that you can have during your delivery. Most delivery anesthesia is regional, which means that nerves coming from your uterus and vagina are numbed.

Another type of anesthesia is general anesthesia. When general anesthesia is used, a woman is asleep during delivery. This type of anesthesia is often used during an emergency delivery.

Although many women do go through childbirth and delivery without medication, delivering your baby is not supposed to be a test of bravery. Medical technology gives you the option of safe and effective pain relief while you’re having your baby. The good news is that your pain can be relieved while you’re still fully aware of what’s happening. In many cases, you can still be aware of your contractions, but without the pain.

The two most common types of regional anesthesia are spinal and epidural. Both types work to numb the pain of contractions. The difference between the two is the location in your back where the anesthetic is placed to block the pain. With a spinal anesthetic, the numbing solution is injected directly into a fluid-filled sac in your back that contains the nerves that run from your vagina and uterus. Epidural anesthesia involves putting a catheter near that same sac. The catheter allows the anesthesia to enter your system slowly during labor.