What should I expect when getting an epidural or spinal block?
Preparations for your epidural or spinal block include the placement of an intravenous catheter (IV), adequate IV hydration, appropriate laboratory studies, and the monitoring of your vital signs. Your labor nurse will help you to sit or lie on your side with your back curved outward to facilitate the placement of your block. You will need to remain still during this procedure. The anesthesiologist with then “prep” your back with an antibacterial agent, place a sterile drape over the planned insertion sight, and numb your skin with a tiny needle before inserting the spinal or epidural needle.
Once the epidural or spinal medication is injected, you may experience a warm and/or “tingling” sensation (often described as “pins and needles”) in your lower body before the numbness and pain relief sets in.