Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > 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
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.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 30, 2016
Current as of:
May 30, 2016
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
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:
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.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital