Birth Center - Pain Management


baby anesthesia

Anesthesia Services

We are proud to offer our expecting moms several different pain management options, including:

  • Spinal (Intrathecal) Narcotic—This single shot technique provides a more rapid onset of pain relief with pain control lasting upwards of 3 hours.

  • Epidural medication for labor pain control—In this technique, a micro catheter is placed into the epidural space of a woman’s back through an epidural needle to provide a continuous infusion of pain control medication. Because it is not a single shot, this method allows mothers to continue to receive pain relief no matter how long the labor lasts. The medication used maintains the mother’s muscle strength so she can walk and move around before delivery.

  • Nitrous Oxide - Nitrous oxide use for labor pain is a mixture of 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen that is inhaled through a mask or mouthpiece that a woman holds and self-administers, as she wishes. A version of nitrous oxide is used widely in dental offices, where most people know of it as “laughing gas.” The blend that is used in laboring woman is different, and does not have the same effect, as it is not anesthesia. The pain may still exist for some women but the gas may create a feeling of ‘Painful contraction? Who cares?’ If you are opting for a pain free labor, this option is not for you. Nitrous Oxide Brochure
  • Combined Spinal/Epidural for labor pain control (CSE): Often refered to as the “2 Step Technique, this method combines the advantages of the Spinal Narcotic’s rapid relief, and the flexibility of an epidural to extend the pain control for the duration of the labor.

  • Patient Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA): This technique for pain control places the control of medication delivery in the hands of the laboring mother. Once the epidural catheter is placed, the mother is given a trigger or push button device that allows her to control how much pain medication she receives. This technique works well when women experience episodes of intense pain. They can self-administer epidural medication to manage such episodes. Studies have shown that women use less overall medication with this technique.