Epidural Anesthesia in Labor

Birthing woman in hospital with IV in arm
  • Defined as the placement of local anesthetics and/or narcotics into the epidural space for the purpose of pain relief during labor and birth.
  • Typically, the catheter is placed when first-time moms are 4-5 cm. dilated. It may be placed earlier in those who have delivered before and are in active labor, or if pitocin augmentation is used.
  • Relief is gradual in onset, reaching a maximum at 15-20 minutes. The anesthetic mixture is administered via a continuous infusion to maintain a steady level of relief.
  • Labor patterns may change during the initial anesthetic exposure, but often return to their baseline in 15-20 minutes; pitocin may be required to maintain a good labor pattern.
  • Patients will experience some mild numbness of their legs, but motor function is largely retained. The anesthetic will be tailored to your specific needs, with the goal being complete pain relief, a continued awareness of your labor, and no loss of pushing power.
  • Side effects are uncommon._ Occasionally a headache may result, which may be sever and require treatment. The incidence is less than 1%. The risk of reaction to the medication is very rare, making it safe for both mother and baby.
  • Most insurance companies cover the fee for this procedure in its entirety after deductibles are met. It is recommended that you contact your carrier if you have any questions
Accepted Insurances

May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology participates with the following insurances. Please note that office copays are due at the time of service and any co-insurances are the responsibility of the patient. Please check with your carrier or call our office at 717-397-8177 for an updated menu of insurance options.

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Each patient is unique, and so is each appointment type!

Online scheduling is currently for ESTABLISHED May-Grant patients only. If you are a new patient (GYN or OB), please call the office at 717-397-8177 to schedule your appointment to ensure that your provider has enough time to address your needs.

If you schedule an appointment online as a new patient, your appointment will be canceled and you will not be able to be seen. A “New patient” includes those who have not been seen in our offices in the past three years.