Anesthesiology and Pain Relief for Pregnancy

A pregnant woman receives care from the prenatal team at OHSU

We take your preferences seriously

You'll have a variety of choices to help you give birth with little or no pain medication. Techniques include hydrotherapy, water birth, birthing balls and stools, massage, walking, breathing and more.

More options than any other area hospital

For moms wanting additional relief, a designated obstetric anesthesiologist is available 24-hours a day, every day of the year, to explain your options and provide pain relief during your labor. 

OHSU offers more epidural (spinal area) options than any other area hospital including:

  • Patient-controlled epidural anesthesia (PCEA) is a type of regional block like the epidural. But it offers the advantage of allowing you, the patient, to control your own medication doses.
  • An epidural option that leaves you at ease enough to handle any discomfort, but may still allow you to feel and be aware of your contractions. Many patients prefer this option because it offers some mobility and varying birth positions.
  • We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for anxiety and pain management. Your provider will talk to you about nitrous oxide and what you can expect. A nurse will bring equipment into the room, provide additional instructions and monitor your use.

You can expect

  • Experienced nurses, dedicated to your birthing support
  • Staff who are fully engaged and supportive of natural birth
  • 24-hour physician, certified nurse-midwife, anesthesiologist and other specialists on-site
  • Attention to your birth plan
  • Inclusion of your birth partner and/or doula
  • Respect for your interests and choices
  • Small comforts: free WiFi, lights that dim, jetted tub and shower, birthing balls, stools, ice chips, etc.