General Anesthesia puts you to sleep (makes you lose consciousness) so you do not feel pain. General anesthesia is used when a regional block is not possible or is not the best choice for medical or other reasons. It can be started quickly and is often used for emergency cesarean delivery. Food or liquids in the woman’s stomach cause a major risk during general anesthesia. Labor usually causes undigested food to stay in the stomach.
During unconsciousness, this food can come back into the mouth and go into the lungs causing damage. To avoid this, you may be told not to eat or drink once labor has started. After you are asleep, your anesthesia provider will place a breathing tube into your mouth and windpipe for the duration of surgery, which is removed as you waken.
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