How does a combined spinal-epidural block work?

A combined spinal-epidural block during labor and delivery has the benefits of pain relief from both an epidural analgesia -- sometimes called an epidural block -- and a spinal block. The spinal part helps provide pain relief right away. Drugs given through the epidural provide pain relief throughout labor. This type of pain relief is injected into the spinal fluid and into the space below the spinal cord. Some women may be able to walk around after the block is in place. For this reason this method sometimes is called the "walking epidural."

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