Helping You Manage the Pain of Childbirth
At Maimonides, we are dedicated to ensuring expectant moms are as comfortable as possible during labor and delivery. Our Obstetric Anesthesiologists are board-certified and specialists in pain management. They care for thousands of patients each year, including those who are considered to be high-risk. Our anesthesiologists are available in the Labor and Delivery room, and will work with your obstetrician to help you through the birthing process. Our vast experience allows us to offer the highest quality of care and the best outcomes, with as little risk as possible.
In order to manage pain during childbirth, most women receive either an epidural or spinal analgesia. You will remain awake during both of these types of anesthesia. In addition, general anesthesia may be administered should you have a cesarean section. Pain management is always based on your individual needs.
What to Expect During an Epidural
When it's time for the epidural or spinal injection, the area of your back where the needle will be inserted, will be cleaned and may be numbed with a local anesthetic. The shot will either be given in your middle or lower back. You may receive fluids through an intravenous line (IV, in a vein), and you may also receive medicine to help you relax.
For an epidural, the doctor will inject medicine just outside the sac of fluid around your spinal cord, known as "the epidural space". The pain relief takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes to begin. An epidural is used often in childbirth, but is also commonly used for long medical procedures. A small catheter is usually left in place, so that you can receive more medicine through the tube to help you control pain during or after your delivery.
What to Expect During Spinal Analgesia
For a spinal, the anesthesiologist will inject medicine into the fluid of your spinal cord. Since this shot is usually given only once, you will not need a catheter. In the case of a spinal, the medicine will take effect right away. This technique works well for the shorter, simpler procedures. Both spinal and epidural anesthesia have few side effects, so you can recover faster, and you and your new born baby can go home sooner.
Anesthetic During a Cesarean Delivery
Similar to many surgical procedures, cesarean sections require anesthesia. Usually, expectant mothers are given an epidural or a spinal injection, both of which will numb the lower body, and the mother will remain awake. However, if the baby has to be delivered quickly, as in an emergency, the mother may be given a general anesthetic, which will make her fall asleep during the surgery.
The Maimonides Obstetric Anesthesiologists provide compassionate pain management care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether or not you request their assistance, you can be assured that they are available to help you, should the need arise.