Keeping you safe is our top priority. What to expect when you visit LMH Health
View All Services
Find a New Primary Care Provider
Search by Specialty
View All Locations
Discover classes, events, tours, and groups that fit your interests.
Home > Be Healthy > Health Library > Spinal Block for Childbirth
Spinal anesthesia (spinal block) is similar to epidural anesthesia, except the anesthetic is injected in a single dose into the fluid around the spinal cord. A spinal block may also be called a saddle block. It numbs the area that would come into contact with the saddle of a horse.
Like an epidural catheter, a spinal block must be administered by an anesthesia specialist. Spinal anesthesia causes complete loss of feeling and muscle control below the waist. It is usually used only for an assisted delivery (such as a cesarean section or a delivery with forceps). Most women cannot push effectively after a spinal block.
The benefit of a spinal block is that it works quickly. But the side effects may include lowering of the mother's blood pressure during delivery, occasional headache after delivery, and temporary urinary difficulty. Infection at the injection site is a rare complication.
Current as of:
February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineJohn M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.