What it does: General anesthetics are medications that make you lose consciousness. When used during childbirth, the mother will not be awake or feel any pain during delivery.
How it's given: These drugs are given through a face mask or injected through an IV line. Once the drug is given, it works very quickly.
- You'll feel no pain and be unaware of labor or delivery distress.
- It may cause nausea and vomiting.
- It depresses your central nervous system.
- You blood pressure may drop.
- The drug may cross the placenta to the baby.
- Forceps may become necessary for delivery.
- Grogginess may make it difficult to hold and bond with your baby right after delivery.
Sources: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA); American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)
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