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what does a spinal block feel like?

I have my c section next week and they are doing a spinal block?? Im nervous. What does it feel like? Am I really numb from my chest down and does that make it hard to breath?? How long does it last??


Asked by randibosin at 8:53 AM on Jan. 17, 2011 in Pregnancy

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Answers (5)
  • They'll give you a shot to numb the area where they'll be doing the spinal block -- that stings a tiny bit -- then they'll administer the anesthesia. You'll go numb from the ribs down very quickly, completely numb, but no problems breathing or anything. Like PP said, you'll probably feel a tugging sensation with the incision, but that's all. You'll have the anesthesiologist in the room with you, as well as a nurse right at your head, plus your SO if he's there. Something about it makes you feel a little tilted, and you might feel like you're going to fall on the floor when they go to move you from the operating table to the bed, but I promise they won't let you.

    I also had some nausea and vomiting afterwards, but not until I sat up, something to do with the change of position. It wasn't terrible, but not pleasant either, obviously, and it was very sudden. So ask the anesthesiologist about that.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 9:35 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • It feels like getting a shot in your back, which kind of sucks, but it's quick. You go numb very rapidly from about chest down. When they're doing the cesaerean, you'll probably feel a weird sensation of tugging and movement, but it won't hurt. An anesthesiologist will be in the room the entire time to make sure there are no complications such as the one you mentioned about breathing. I didn't have any breathing problems, BTW. The numbness slowly wears off in the few hours following the surgery.

    One thing I will mention is that after my first c-section, I vomited violently from the anesthesia once I got into my private room. With the 2nd c-section I had, I mentioned the nausea and vomiting to my doctor and they gave me some anti-nausea medication which completely prevented me from throwing up that time around. Just food for thought--maybe you'll want to ask your doc about that.

    Good luck!

    Answer by vicesix at 9:05 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I had no issues breathing. You will be numb. I had vaginal deliveries which makes it hard for me to give you details for a C-section. Congratulations.


    Answer by zebbiebug at 8:54 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • I've had 2 and had no breathing issues with either. You don't feel anything, but I didn't feel "weird" either (my mouth feels "weird" to me when I have novacaine, but my body didn't feel like that). I don't remember exactly how long it lasted, a couple of hours?

    Answer by missanc at 8:58 AM on Jan. 17, 2011

  • Im glad to hear my breathing wont be affected, I have such bad anxiety. I hope they'll give me something for nausea right away to prevent me from vomiting because I really don't wanna be sick on top of major surgery!

    Comment by randibosin (original poster) at 9:50 AM on Jan. 17, 2011