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Labor – Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia Side Effects

February 7, 2021


“Labor analgesia is very safe and serious side effects are extremely rare. Most common side effects of an epidural and or spinal anesthetic is a pressure sensation at the insertion site on your back and sometimes a blood pressure drop due to the medications used to numb you. Nausea, vomiting can be another common side effect. That’s why once the epidural and or spinals in place, mom to be is very carefully monitored, which includes continuous vital sign checks. Another side effect of labor analgesia is what the anesthesiologist calls a spinal headache. This happens usually when the needle that is used to place an epidural enters the spinal space instead of the epidural space. The result is a pretty severe headache, usually 24 to 48 hours after delivery of the baby. Not life-threatening, but can last three to five days. Your anesthesiologist can usually tell when this happens and prepare you and discuss treatment options.

General anesthesia for delivery of a baby comes usually only into play when the baby needs to be delivered immediately, and there is no epidural or spinal in place, and there is no time to place in spinal or an epidural. General anesthesia for labor and delivery is safe, however, due to the physiological changes that happen during pregnancy, it can make the administration of general anesthesia, which also requires a breathing tube, more challenging. Your obstetrician and anesthesiologist will work very closely to avoid getting into this situation. However, sometimes the baby directs [?]. And these situations are unavoidable. Rest assured, your team of doctors will take good care of you. Drowsiness and sleepiness right after waking up from general anesthesia is normal. It doesn’t differ from general anesthesia for non-labor patients.”

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