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Local Anesthesia for Childbirth - Topic Overview

Local anesthesia for childbirth is most commonly given as an injection that numbs the area around the vagina just before an episiotomy is done. An episiotomy is an incision made in the tissue between the vagina and anus (the perineum) just before the baby's head emerges. It is done to enlarge the vaginal opening to accommodate the delivery of the baby or to help deliver the baby more quickly.

Local anesthesia has no ill effects on the baby when given prior to an episiotomy. It does not relieve uterine contraction pain.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 13, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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