Childbirth Anesthesia

Pain management tailored to your personal childbirth experience

Childbirth anesthesia provides special pain management before and during childbirth. Anesthesiologists help you choose and manage the amount of pain medicine you receive, while carefully monitoring the health of you and your baby. And because babies don’t always come on schedule, childbirth anesthesia is available around the clock, when you need it.

Overview

Childbirth anesthesia provides special pain management before and during childbirth. Anesthesiologists help you choose and manage the amount of pain medicine you receive, while carefully monitoring the health of you and your baby. And because babies don’t always come on schedule, childbirth anesthesia is available around the clock, when you need it.

Many women choose childbirth anesthesia because it helps them to relax and enjoy the birth experience. If you choose not to use anesthesia while giving birth, our anesthesiologists remain available to offer pain relief if needed.

Types of childbirth anesthesia include:

Epidural

Epidural injections are the most common form of pain relief during labor. Before you receive an epidural, an area on your lower back is cleaned and injected with a local anesthetic that numbs the area. Next, the anesthesiologist inserts a needle into your spine and injects an anesthetic medicine. A small tube, called a catheter, is left in place to allow for more anesthetic to be injected later, if needed.

You can expect the epidural to take effect in about 10 to 20 minutes. Most women experience a great deal of pain relief from an epidural.

Surgical anesthesia

If you vaginal delivery is not possible, you may need to have a caesarean section (C-section), a surgery to deliver the baby by creating an incision in your abdomen. Your anesthesiologist will give surgical anesthesia before the C-sections and monitor the vital signs of both you and your baby throughout the surgery.

Surgical anesthesia lets you remain alert and awake during the C-section, without feeling any pain. The anesthetic, sometimes called a spinal block, is injected near the spine. This numbs your body from waist down, so you will not feel any pain during the surgery. You may feel some tugging sensations, however, as the surgery takes place.

What To Expect

Many women choose childbirth anesthesia because it helps them to relax and enjoy the birth experience. If you choose not to use anesthesia while giving birth, our anesthesiologists remain available to offer pain relief if needed.

Types of childbirth anesthesia include:

Epidural

Epidural injections are the most common form of pain relief during labor. Before you receive an epidural, an area on your lower back is cleaned and injected with a local anesthetic that numbs the area. Next, the anesthesiologist inserts a needle into your spine and injects an anesthetic medicine. A small tube, called a catheter, is left in place to allow for more anesthetic to be injected later, if needed.

You can expect the epidural to take effect in about 10 to 20 minutes. Most women experience a great deal of pain relief from an epidural.

Surgical anesthesia

If you vaginal delivery is not possible, you may need to have a caesarean section (C-section), a surgery to deliver the baby by creating an incision in your abdomen. Your anesthesiologist will give surgical anesthesia before the C-sections and monitor the vital signs of both you and your baby throughout the surgery.

Surgical anesthesia lets you remain alert and awake during the C-section, without feeling any pain. The anesthetic, sometimes called a spinal block, is injected near the spine. This numbs your body from waist down, so you will not feel any pain during the surgery. You may feel some tugging sensations, however, as the surgery takes place.

Patient Stories for Childbirth Anesthesia