Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition

Analgesia During Labor and Delivery

  • Yaakov Beilin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_196


 Analgesia for labor and delivery is now safer than ever. Anesthesia related maternal mortality has decreased from 4.3 per million live births during the years 1979–1981 to 1.7 per million live births during the years 1988–1990. The increased use of regional anesthesia for the parturient is in part responsible for this decrease in mortality (Hawkins et al. 1997). Safety is the first and foremost goal of obstetrical anesthesia. For labor analgesia, a secondary goal is to minimize or eliminate maternal lower extremity muscle weakness associated with epidural and subarachnoid  local anesthetics. Patients with less motor block are more satisfied with their anesthetic experience and decreasing motor block may improve obstetric outcome. Although controversial, motor blockade related to labor epidural analgesia has been implicated as a cause of forceps deliveries and cesarean delivery. Minimizing the motor block may attenuate or eliminate these effects (Chestnut 1997). In...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yaakov Beilin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiologyand ObstetricsGynecology and Reproductive SciencesNew York, NY, USA