Obstetrical Anesthesia section
The anesthesiologist’s role during labor and delivery is to offer pain relief as well as anesthetic and medical management for operative delivery or Caesarean sections. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center has a high volume obstetrical unit that provides care to both routine and high-risk obstetrical patients. As part of our busy practice, East Bay Anesthesiology Medical Group (EBAMG) anesthesiologists are experts at providing around the clock obstetric anesthesia care. We have two anesthesiologists on the labor and delivery ward at all times ready to respond to analgesic and operative needs.
In terms of pain relief during childbirth, we realize that women may enter labor with a birth plan or have pain relief preferences including natural delivery, intravenous narcotics or epidural anesthesia. Staff anesthesiologists respect those wishes and are available to answer questions or provide consultation. Once a woman, along with her obstetrician, elects to have a labor epidural, an EBAMG anesthesiologist will be available to perform the procedure.
An epidural is a small plastic catheter placed in the lower back by an anesthesiologist for relief of labor pain. The catheter itself sits in a space containing nerves that travel to the abdomen, pelvis, and lower extremities. Most often, a combination of dilute local anesthetic and narcotic pain medication is infused through the catheter, resulting in rapid pain relief and preserving the ability to move around. The epidural infusion continues to provide pain relief throughout labor until the birth of the baby.
Anesthesia for C-sections, both scheduled and unplanned, is most commonly done under either epidural or spinal anesthesia. General anesthesia is usually reserved for emergency procedures or the rare patient that has a contraindication to spinal or epidural anesthesia. Choice of anesthesia will be discussed with the anesthesiologist before surgery.
Women and Infants services at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is committed to providing a positive experience to expectant parents and we look forward to meeting you! For more information about what to anticipate during labor, please refer to the following link: