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Risks of epidurals, spinals and general anaesthetics

It is completely normal as an expectant parent to have questions about the risks that come with some of the procedures you may need around the time of birth.

During your labour, you may be considering a number of different pain relief options to help cope with labour pains, including epidurals and spinals.

These are sometimes referred to as types of regional anaesthesia by your medical and midwifery team. If your baby needs to be born in theatre you may have a regional or general anaesthetic and to prepare for this you might have questions about the risks of these procedures. We have put together a useful infographic to help explain these risks and the chances of them affecting you.

Explaining and understanding risk can be difficult, especially during labour or emergencies, and we hope that this makes it a bit easier. What’s important to remember that there are medical and midwifery staff to explain things too, and look after you safely.

If you still have questions before your procedure, we recommend contacting your midwife or doctor and they can answer any specific questions you have.

View infographic on risks of regional anaesthesia and general anaesthesia