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How does local anesthesia work during labor and delivery?

During labor and delivery, local anesthesia provides numbness or loss of sensation in a small area. It does not, however, lessen the pain of contractions. 

A procedure called an episiotomy may be done by your obstetrician before delivery. Local anesthesia is helpful when an episiotomy needs to be done or when any vaginal tears that happened during birth are repaired.

Local anesthesia rarely affects the baby. There usually are no side effects after the local anesthetic has worn off.

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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.