Epidural Placement for Labor

Placement of an epidural catheter for labor
Epidural catheter in place

Epidural anesthesia involves putting a sterile guide needle and a small tube (epidural catheter) into the space around the spinal cord (epidural space). The epidural catheter is placed at or below the waist.

The guide needle is inserted and removed, while the catheter remains in place. The catheter is taped in place up the center of your back and at the top of your shoulder.

Medicine is injected into the catheter to numb your body below the insertion site. This will help relieve pain during labor and birth.

Current as of: October 8, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine