Local anesthesia for childbirth is most commonly given as a shot that numbs the area around the vagina just before an episiotomy is
done. An episiotomy is a cut made in the tissue between the vagina and
anus just before the baby's head starts to emerge. (The tissue is called the perineum.) The cut makes
the vaginal opening bigger. It may be done to help deliver
the baby more quickly or more easily.
Local anesthesia does not harm the baby when given before
an episiotomy. It does not relieve pain from contractions.
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