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Could anesthesia harm my baby if I need surgery while pregnant?

Both regional and general anesthesia can be given safely during pregnancy. It is important to have a multidisciplinary team of an obstetrician, surgeon, anesthesiologist and perinatologist working together to optimize your care.

Certain conditions may mean that your clinical team will select certain strategies (e.g., regional or general anesthesia, appropriate drugs, position you in a tilt, place compression stockings on your legs) to keep you safe, which will in turn keep your baby safe.

The team will likely monitor the baby with fetal heart tones before surgery and after surgery. Monitoring during surgery will depend on various factors, including the risks and benefits in your situation. This will be a decision of your clinical team and you should certainly feel comfortable asking the team so you understand the decision.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.