Obstetrical Anesthesia

Rock Hill GYN & OB provides obstetrical anesthesia using care and precision. Composed of certified registered nurse anesthetists and board-certified physician anesthesiologists, this division provides epidurals as well as other general anesthetic techniques to assist with labor and delivery, as well as with follow-up care. Whether you have a routine or complex delivery experience, we are committed to providing a comprehensive anesthetic approach with your comfort and safety as our number one priority. We always strive to foster an experience that is stress free for mothers, families, and their new babies.

What is Obstetrical Anesthesia?

As obstetrical anesthesiologists, we are committed to helping you manage pain during the labor and delivery process. While there are a few different approaches to this, the most common and effective manner of pain relief is an epidural. Here we will touch on the various options you have for pain relief. Keep in mind that every form of pain relief comes with a certain degree of inherent risk. The best way to approach deciding on what is right for you is by weighing the risks against the benefits. We recommend talking to your doctor about your labor and delivery plan so you can make your intentions known regarding what medication you may be open to during childbirth.

Systemic Analgesics

These medications are usually classified as opioids. Administered through an IV, they have a calming effect and are meant to reduce your overall awareness of the pain. Although generally safe, there are some side effects that may occur such as itchiness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, or difficulty concentrating. These also have the chance of impacting your baby’s breathing and heart rate and making them drowsy after birth.

Nitrous Oxide

Commonly referred to as laughing gas, this is used to reduce anxiety during the labor and delivery process. It has not odor or taste and is completely safe for both mother and baby.

Local Anesthesia

This injection helps to reduce or prevent pain in a very small area of the body, specifically the area around the vagina. In the event that you require an episiotomy, this can be beneficial pain relief. Although rare, it is possible to experience an allergic reaction or to have a nerve or heart problem if the dose is too high.

Regional Anesthesia

This form of anesthesia reduces pain below the waist. It includes:

  • Epidural Block
  • Spinal Block
  • Combined Spinal-Epidural Block

More than 50% of women who give birth in a hospital setting receive an epidural. This does not knock you out or completely remove all feeling. When administered correctly, there is a decrease in sensation to the lower half of the body. While you will not be able to move around, you should still be able to feel when you are having a contraction and you should have the ability to push. Having any form of regional anesthesia increases the risk that your baby will experience a change in heart rate, breathing problems, drowsiness, reduced muscle tone, and difficulty breastfeeding.

General Anesthesia

This is usually only recommended for emergency situations. When placed under general anesthesia you will not feel any pain and you will not be conscious. Although rare, being placed under general anesthesia can result in aspiration. To avoid this, you are directed not to eat or drink anything once you go into labor or if you know you are going to have a cesarean section delivery.

Schedule Your Appointment

Receive first-class care from the health care providers at Rock Hill GYN & OB. Contact us to schedule an appointment.