Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital begins offering epidurals

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 9:00am

Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital has announced that, in addition to nitrous oxide and intrathecal for labor pain management, it will now offer epidurals.

An epidural is a procedure that injects local anesthesia in the space around the spinal nerves in the lower back, according to NLMCH, in a news release. This is regional anesthesia which is very effective pain relief but often still allows you to move your legs and push your baby with contractions. The epidural allows the pain relief to continue throughout labor and delivery. An intrathecal is regional anesthesia administered in the lower back but for a limited time.

“We know that mothers want choices in their birth plans, and we are so pleased to be able to offer yet another option,” said Suzanne Norgang, CNM. “The midwives work with each of our patients to choose the birth plan that is right for them. Some moms plan for hydrotherapy and water birth, others nitrous oxide or epidural. The majority want to wait and see how their labor goes, before committing to or selecting medication. Having a full spectrum of options is always a good thing, because every labor is different, and every birth is unique.”

According to NLMCH, Norgang and the team of certified nurse midwives at Blue Hill and Maine Coast Hospitals want to emphasize that “midwife” does not mean “no pain medication” or “natural birth only.” Their goal is to meet the mother’s needs and wishes and help her have a special and memorable birth experience.

The midwives, doctors, and nurses working in women’s health and the birthing unit are available and equipped to respond to every development with the medical expertise to make certain you and your baby are safe, according to NLMCH.

“I am very excited that epidurals can now be offered in our community,” said Maine Coast Obstetrician/ Gynecologist Barbara Mercado, MD. “It’s always great to have options that are safe for mother and baby.” 

Certified nurse-midwives and physicians from both Northern Light Blue Hill and Northern Light Maine Coast Hospitals offer complete gynecological services, obstetrical care, full-scope midwifery services, and well women care.  For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call Northern Light Women’s Health in Blue Hill (374-3940) or Ellsworth (664-5650).