Spinal Block for Childbirth

Spinal Block for Childbirth

Treatment Overview

Spinal anesthesia (spinal block) is a way to control pain using anesthetic medicine. It causes complete loss of feeling and muscle control below the waist. A spinal block is often used for an assisted delivery (such as a cesarean section or a delivery with forceps). Or it can be used when a delivery is happening fast. The benefit of a spinal block is that it works quickly.

A spinal block is similar to epidural anesthesia. But the anesthetic for a spinal block is injected in a single dose into the fluid around the spinal cord. A spinal block may also be called a saddle block. It numbs the area that would come into contact with the saddle of a horse.

Like an epidural catheter, a spinal block must be given by an anesthesia specialist.

Side Effects

Spinal anesthesia (spinal block) for childbirth may cause side effects. These may include lowering of the mother's blood pressure during delivery, an occasional headache after delivery, and temporary urinary problems. Infection at the injection site is a rare complication.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: June 23, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.