Bristol Anesthesia Services provides anesthesia services at Bristol Regional Medical Center for women as they go through labor and undergo cesarean sections. Anesthesiologists work together with certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) as an anesthesia care team to quickly provide pain relief from childbirth by placing an epidural for labor or a spinal anesthetic, as necessary, for cesarean sections.

While creating your birthing plan with your obstetrician, you will have an opportunity to evaluate how you would like to manage pain associated with childbirth. An effective and safe way to manage labor pains is with an epidural. An epidural is a very small catheter that is inserted into the lumbar (lower) area of the back during the labor process. Through this catheter, a combination of medications are given in very low doses, reducing the sensation of contractions to a manageable level. Because the medication is administered directly in the area where it works, very little medication is needed and therefore does not significantly affect the baby.