Anaesthesia is used to relieve pain during a caesarean section or instrumental vaginal birth. All women who have a caesarean section receive anaesthesia, except in the rare case of post-mortem delivery. More than one type of anaesthetic can be administered.
In 2020, most mothers who had a caesarean section had a regional anaesthetic (69% spinal, 19% epidural or caudal; noting that some mothers had both) and 5.3% had a general anaesthetic.
The data visualisation below presents data on the anaesthesia administration status of women who gave birth and had a caesarean section or instrumental vaginal birth, by selected maternal characteristics, for 2020. Click the trend button to see how data has changed over an 11-year period (where available).