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A new blanket waits for a new baby on the OB floor
 

Obstetric Anesthesia


Our Mission:

The Obstetric Anesthesiology Service at University of Colorado Hospital is committed to the best possible maternal care. While over 4000​ babies are delivered in our system annually, every woman that comes to us for care is different, having her own individual desires, values, expectations, and medical history. Our goal is to provide accurate, up-to-date, and evidence-based information, pain-relief options and recommendations to all of our patients. We want every new mother to feel safe, to know that her decisions are respected, and to have the best labor and delivery experience we can provide.


Our Team:

Our subspecialty service consists of obstetric anesthesiology fellowship-trained attending physicians, obstetric anesthesiology fellows, 3rd or 4th year senior anesthesiology residents, and a team of nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) with extensive experience on labor and delivery. Members of our team are available for consultation or to answer questions; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Your Labor and Delivery:

The birth of her child is one of the most meaningful experiences of a woman's life. With a goal of maximizing the positive aspects of labor while minimizing pain, we offer patient-controlled-analgesic options including nitrous oxide (laughing gas), epidural and combined-spinal epidurals that include walking epidurals. Our multiple-provider teams allow us to be available all day, every day. We maintain excellent communication with our labor nurses and obstetric providers to ensure mothers are receiving the right amount of pain control in the safest manner possible.

Should a mother and her obstetrician together decide that cesarean delivery is the right choice for the birth of her child, our team will provide options for pain relief both during and after her surgical delivery. Our standard anesthetic for C-section is a spinal and/or epidural used to numb away the pain of surgery. We aim to maintain wakefulness allowing mother and baby may bond skin-to-skin as soon as possible so that the birth experience can remain gentle and family-centered. While it is rare that general anesthesia is required for these procedures, should it be deemed necessary, know that experts in maternal anesthesia management will be guiding your care.


High-Risk Maternal Care:

We are on the forefront of managing pre-existing and developing medical conditions during pregnancy, including: blood pressure problems, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, and coagulation and bleeding disorders, to name a few. Our hospital is the region’s major referral center for complex maternal and fetal patients in part because of our belief in multidisciplinary team-based care. We hold regular conferences with our obstetric medicine, midwifery, neonatology, and nursing colleagues, who consult our obstetric anesthesia team on all potentially high-risk mothers and/or babies to ensure the most comprehensive and safe care for new mothers and their families. 


High-Risk Fetal Care:

Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado Hospital jointly established a national referral center for patients with complex pregnancies. The Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health (CIMFH) offers integrated maternal, fetal and neonatal care for families with a known or suspected fetal anomaly. On our unit, we provide interventions and treatment for fetal anomalies in-utero, at the time of delivery, or within a few days postpartum. Interventions may include open fetal surgery for myelomeningocele repair (MMC), ex-utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT), and fetoscopic procedures for twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). Staffed by experienced anesthesiologists, maternal fetal medicine physicians, fetal surgeons and pediatric specialists, this unit provides cutting edge care for fetuses and families all in one location.

Colorado Fetal Care Center Website

 

Advancements:

Our department maintains a computerized patient database of all patients receiving any kind of anesthesia consultation on Labor and Delivery and we also participate in the national databases developed by the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology. Information we collect facilitates ongoing quality improvement, outcomes assessment, patient follow-up, and research. Our goal in these endeavors is to improve the labor and delivery experience and promote safety for women and their families, not just at our hospital but universally.

 

Leadership:

Members of our group are leaders in the field of obstetric anesthesiology on the local, national, and international level. CUDoctors.com

Joy Hawkins     Brenda Bucklin​     Cristina Wood    Rachel Kacmar​

 

Fellowship:

Our department has a commitment to advanced education in anesthesiology sub-specialties. We offer residents the opportunity to come work with us after graduation as a concurrent general anesthesiology attending and obstetric anesthesiology fellow so that learning high-quality patient care on and off the labor floor are advanced simultaneously.