Skip to Content

Menu Icon
Menu
Menu Icon

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.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised November 13, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Health Library