Pain Relief During Childbirth - Spinal Block
A Spinal Block (or Spinal) is a form of pain relief during childbirth which is administered via injection by a very fine needle which contains a local anaesthetic. This is injected into the small of the back and quickly causes the nerves of the womb and cervix to be numbed meaning you will no longer feel your contractions and will be pain-free.
Usually given during the second or pushing stage of labor, spinal blocks are effective at allowing rapid pain relief especially if you are to have a forceps or ventouse delivery.
Sometimes Spinal Blocks are used alongside an epidural as the pain relief kicks in more quickly. Since a spinal is given via injection, unlike an epidural there will be no tube left in your back. However, the pain relief offered by a Spinal, although strong, only lasts around two hours and cannot be topped up since it is only possible to have one injection.
As with an epidural, if you receive a Spinal your mobility will be limited as your legs and feet will be numbed and you may also feel shaky or shivery after administration. Some women also find that spinals cause feelings of sickness and you may also feel itchy and have some problems passing urine after the birth.
Both spinals and epidurals may also be used during a c-section thus allowing mothers to remain awake during the birth.
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