Associates, Ltd.
301 S. 7th Ave., Suite 235
West Reading, PA 19611
(484) 628-8589
Billing: (484) 628-5134

The birth of your child can be thrilling and gratifying. Our goal is to help you and your partner make this experience as safe and pleasant as possible.

Each woman's labor is unique to her, so the amount of labor pain you feel will differ from that felt by other women in labor. For this reason, decisions regarding control of your labor pain must be made specifically for you. Many mothers are choosing to have pain relief during labor and delivery to help them experience a more comfortable childbirth.

Reading Anesthesia Associates dedicates an anesthesiologist to provide full time coverage of the Labor Suite, so we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide care for you as needed.

Your obstetrician may request that patients admitted to the Labor Suite be evaluated by an anesthesiologist who will discuss options and plans for anesthesia care during labor and vaginal delivery or Cesarean section.

Epidurals block the pain of labor and delivery from moving up the spinal cord to the brain. This may be appropriate for you depending on your stage and speed of labor.

After numbing the skin, a very small plastic tube, or catheter, is inserted in your lower back. The tip of this tube is in the epidural space just outside the sack containing the spinal fluid and nerves.

A mixture of local anesthesia and other painkillers is then injected through the catheter to produce numbness across your lower abdomen and vaginal area. A continuous infusion of this mixture by a battery powered pump maintains this numbness until after delivery.

If you have been in labor with an epidural and need a Cesarean section, additional local anesthesia can usually be added to provide the numbness needed to perform the operation.

If you are having a scheduled Cesarean section, or if a C-section becomes necessary during labor without an epidural already in place, spinal anesthesia is often the preferred choice. After numbing a small area of skin on your lower back, a very small needle is placed into the sack of spinal fluid and local anesthesia is injected to block pain sensation from reaching your brain. Spinal anesthesia takes effect faster than an epidural and is slightly more reliable in providing all the numbness needed.

With either epidural or spinal for C-section, we often inject a medication called Duramorph (specially prepared morphine) through the needle or catheter to provide up to 24 hours of good pain relief after the operation.

General anesthesia for C-section, where you are totally asleep and unaware, is usually reserved for conditions where the baby needs to be delivered as rapidly as possible, or the mother has some medical reason why epidural or spinal is inappropriate.

If you or your obstetrician have concerns regarding anesthesia procedures or possible medical problems, we recommend that you be scheduled for a pre-anesthesia interview prior to your expected date of delivery. The more prepared you are - in other words, the more you "plan your childbirth" - the more comfortable and memorable the birth of you baby will be.

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