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ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 36: Obstetric Analgesia and Anesthesia

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Abstract

Labor results in severe pain for many women. There is no other circumstance in which it is considered acceptable for a person to experience untreated severe pain, amenable to safe intervention, while under a physician's care. In the absence of a medical contraindication, maternal request is a sufficient medical indication for pain relief during labor. Pain management should be provided whenever it is medically indicated. The purpose of this document is to help obstetrician‐gynecologists understand the available methods of pain relief to facilitate communication with their colleagues in the field of anesthesia, thereby, optimizing patient comfort while minimizing the potential for maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

© 2002 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.