Spinal Anesthesia

    A spinal is not unlike an epidural during the administration process, but the effects on the body are far different. Spinals are pain medications delivered via the spinal column in one dose. The medication is fast acting and can achieve a complete block of pain in as little as 2-3 minutes. During labor and delivery, the total block means the woman giving birth cannot feel the lower half of her body, which can make pushing impossible. That's why a spinal anesthesia is usually given exclusively for a cesarean section, while an epidural is done for labor or cesareans.

    Benefits of Spinal Anesthesia

    Women who enter the hospital in the latter stages of labor and need a cesarean may not have enough time to get prepped for birth and receive an epidural. In these cases, pain spinal. Spinal pain relief can last up to two hours.

    Negatives of Spinal Anesthesia
    As is the case with any pain relief, there is potential health risks associated with a spinal. Most notably, there is a "high spinal" and women may experience a blocking of pain and feeling that spreads into the chest area. This can cause difficulty breathing. Other common side effects include dizziness, itching, convulsions, low blood pressure and severe headache.

    Localized infections can occur if spinal equipment is not sterilized properly. While this risk is extremely low, moms should always be aware of the risk associated with any medical procedure.

    Effects on the Baby
    The same increased risk of C-section and assisted birth that comes with an epidural, can also occur with a spinal. Other than this increased risk, there are no potential side effects for the baby.

    Spinal anesthesia is usually not chosen as pain relief during labor and delivery.because it  blocks movement which can make giving birth vaginally more difficult. Epidurals provide the same pain relief without paralyzing the lower body.