Local anesthetics

These medications include chloroprocaine, lidocaine and other "caine" drugs.

When they're administered

Local anesthetics are given shortly before or after delivery.

How they're administered

These medications are injected directly into tissue at the opening of the vagina before a cut to enlarge the opening (episiotomy) is made or a tear is repaired.

How they affect you

These medications numb the opening of the vagina specifically to allow a brief procedure to be done. They provide only temporary pain relief in a small area of the body. They don't lessen the pain of contractions, and there's no use for them during labor.

Possible concerns

Used properly, these medications have no negative effects on you or your baby. Very rarely, injecting such medications into the mother's vein can cause falling blood pressure and fainting. Some people are allergic to substances in this family of medications.

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