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Labor And Delivery

Providing the Highest Levels of Safety and Comfort

Bringing a little one into this world and going through labor is unique to every woman. There are many safe options for managing labor pain. While some women prefer breathing and relaxation techniques throughout labor, others may choose to combine these methods with pain medications or an epidural.

In partnership with your obstetrician and obstetric care team, PAA is dedicated to managing your labor and delivery pain with a primary focus on the safety of both mother and baby. Our involvement begins with a thorough pre-anesthetic assessment of each expectant mother. We encourage patients with more complex medical issues to have an evaluation through our pre-anesthesia clinic in order to discuss options.

In the hospital, a dedicated anesthesiologist will be involved with your care for the duration of labor and delivery. Should the need arise, or if planned in advance, we also provide anesthesia for surgical delivery by C-section.

No matter the journey you take bringing life into this world, rest assured that you have a PAA anesthesiologist who is dedicated to providing the highest levels of safety and comfort every step of the way.

Exemplary Care On Your Family’s Special Day

  • 24/7 anesthesia care for all laboring mothers delivered by experienced and caring physicians.
  • An understanding that each woman’s labor and desires regarding pain management are unique and require individualized attention.
  • Continuous assessment of the quality of care we deliver to expecting mothers.
  • Unwavering dedication to your safety so you can focus on the joy of childbirth.
  • Fantastic relationships with your obstetricians.

What Our Obstetricians Are Saying

I have relied on Providence Anesthesia for the past 10 years for anesthesia care for my patients. I appreciate the exceptional quality of care, professionalism, and skill from these doctors across the entire group. It has been a pleasure to work alongside them.

Dr. Jennie Hauschka
Novant Health Mintview OB/GYN


The anesthesiologists at Providence Anesthesiology Associates are professional, highly skilled, and deliver quality care. They are an important part of our team!.

Dr. Nora Arronte.
Novant Health Providence OB/GYN


I started practicing OB/GYN at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in 1996. Over the past 25 years, I’ve had the distinct privilege of working with Providence Anesthesia. Their level of professionalism is unparalleled. They consistently offer quality and compassionate care every day.

Dr. Thor Svendsen
Novant Health Rankin OB/GYN


Frequently Asked Questions

What is an epidural?
An epidural is the most effective pain management during labor and delivery. A tiny plastic tube is inserted into the back next to the nerves in the spine. Numbing medications are given through the epidural catheter to “block” pain signals. As we strive to balance each patient’s comfort, safety and ability to push effectively for delivery, It’s important to remember that an epidural will not eliminate all feelings or discomfort during labor.
Am I required to have an epidural?
No, it is not required. While an epidural provides the most effective pain relief, there are many options available at our hospitals. This includes using breathing and relaxation techniques, pain medications through your IV or by breathing nitrous oxide. You can discuss all your options with your obstetrician and your anesthesiologist.


Are there patients who cannot get an epidural?

Yes, there are some women who cannot have an epidural for their safety. This may include women who have certain medical conditions such as bleeding disorders or a low platelet count.  Additionally, we cannot administer an epidural to women on blood thinning medications unless they have stopped taking them for a certain amount of time beforehand. Women who have had previous back surgery are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If your anesthesiologist has concerns for your safety, they will discuss this with you.

When should I get my epidural?

There is no definitive time to get your epidural. When you need pain relief will depend on your pain tolerance, your baby’s position, and how your labor is progressing. Certain medications, such as Pitocin, can make labor more painful. You must be able to sit very still for the placement of your epidural. As long as you are able to sit still and you and your baby are stable medically, you’ll be able to receive an epidural.

What if I need a C-section after being in labor?
If you need a C-section after being in labor and you have an epidural already in place, we will use the epidural for your surgery. Stronger numbing medications will be administered through the epidural to make you numb and unable to feel sharp pain. If you do not have an epidural already in place, you may be able to have a spinal (see below for more info) if time allows or you may need to undergo general anesthesia where you’ll be completely asleep. General anesthesia is typically used only in emergency situations or when the woman cannot have an epidural/spinal.
What if I am having a planned C-section?
If you’re arriving at the hospital to have a planned C-section you will have a spinal block for the procedure. A spinal is similar to an epidural; however, instead of leaving a tiny plastic tube in the back, a one time dose of medicine is given to you to make you very numb. Just as with the epidural, some women will not be able to have a spinal if they have certain medical conditions. If this is the case, you would have general anesthesia where you’ll be completely asleep for the surgery.
What are the risks of an epidural/spinal?
As with any medical treatment, side effects can occur. These include headache, backache, drop in blood pressure, nausea/vomiting, itching, shaking, and shortness of breath. More serious complications such as bleeding, infection and injury to the nerves are rare. Serious reactions to medications injected into the spinal fluid or blood stream are also rare. Sometimes, the numbing effect of the epidural is patchy or one-sided and may not provide 100% pain relief. As you move around in labor, the epidural catheter is at risk of accidentally falling out. Occasionally, the epidural may need to be replaced in order to provide effective pain relief.
Will the epidural affect my baby?
No. Since the medications are given close to the nerves in your back, they’re kept far away from the baby. Very little medicine will reach the bloodstream or the baby even after a long labor.
What if the epidural doesn’t work?
The goal of the epidural is to keep you as comfortable as possible while also allowing you to have the strength to push when the time comes. Therefore, you may have some feeling and sensation during labor. The epidural works well to take away sharp contraction pain; however, it does not take away pressure. As you progress in labor, you may have an increased feeling of pressure even with a working epidural. Occasionally, your anesthesiologist may need to give you stronger medications through the epidural to help with pain. If your epidural is patchy or one-sided and doesn’t adequately relieve pain, you may need to have the epidural replaced.
What if I still have more questions?

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You may be able to find answers to your questions at the American Society of Anesthesiologists patient resource center.

Your invoice should include a prefix
(PAA, PIN, AAP, WAT). If your invoice
does NOT include a prefix, please
contact PAA at 705.749.5081.

Your invoice should include a prefix
(PAA, PIN, AAP, WAT). If your invoice
does NOT include a prefix, please
contact PAA at 705.749.5081.