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Hi, I am seven months pregnant and my pregnancy is developing normally. When I found out I am pregnant, I decided that I will have a normal delivery. By normal I mean that I thought not to use any drugs. However, as the delivery day is approaching I find myself thinking about how nice it would be to deliver my baby as painfully as possible. I have talked to my accoucheur about my options. He mentioned spinal block as the best and safest method. As I have understood, spinal block involves a needle being inserted in my spine. This doesn't sound very safe to me. Can you explain how the spinal block is better than ordinary anesthesia?

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Hi, and first of all I would like to congratulate you on this happy occasion. You should know that there are more and more women who decide to use some kind of anesthetic method to help them with their labor. There are actually two methods that involve your spine. The first is spinal block, that your doctor suggested, and the second one is an epidural. However, even though they are both executed through the spine, there are significant differences. I am somewhat surprised that your doctor recommended spinal block if you want to have a natural delivery. Spinal block is a procedure in which an anesthesiologist uses a syringe to administer some kind of local anesthetic in your spinal fluid. This kind of method offers pain relief for about two hours. This is why it is used in cesarean delivery more often. For the vaginal birth, epidural is more acceptable because it provides continuous anesthesia. The spinal block and epidural may sound dangerous, but there is actually very small chance for spinal cord injury because the injection is inserted beneath the spinal cord level. Also, a smaller amount of drug will reach your baby if you use a spinal block instead of an intravenous anesthesia. I hope that these information will help you to make the best choice for you and your baby.
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