Massachusetts General Hospital’s Division of Obstetric Anesthesia in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine offers comprehensive obstetric anesthesia services for patients 24 hours a day.

  • Phone: 617-726-3030
Lisa Leffert, MD, chief, Division of Obstetric Anesthesia (center) instructs residents on using a labor epidural pump for patient care during delivery.

Lisa Leffert, MD, chief, Division of Obstetric Anesthesia (center) instructs residents on using a labor epidural pump for patient care during delivery.

Division of Obstetric Anesthesia

At Massachusetts General Hospital, our team of highly skilled obstetricians, midwives, nurses and anesthesiologists work together to make the birth experience as safe and comfortable as possible for you and your baby.

Comprehensive Care at All Hours

Obstetric anesthesia services at Mass General are available on the labor and delivery floor 24 hours per day. Multiple anesthesia medical doctors are immediately and exclusively available on the labor floor at all times. Our anesthesia team comprises board-certified physicians, staff anesthesiologists and anesthesia resident physicians.

When you first arrive at Mass General for delivery, you will be admitted to a labor room where a member of the obstetric anesthesia team will meet with you and review your medical history. The goal of this initial meeting is for our team to be well-prepared to care for you, especially if you require anesthesia quickly for any reason. It also gives you an opportunity to get your questions answered about different methods of pain control. More than 70% of our patients receive regional (typically epidural) anesthesia for labor.

In addition to cesarean deliveries (C-sections), the obstetric anesthesia team provides on-site anesthesia services for other obstetric-related operative procedures including postpartum tubal ligations and cervical cerclage placements. Your obstetrician may help you decide during pregnancy if any of these other procedures are appropriate for you.

Anesthesiologists are also available for outpatient consultations earlier in pregnancy on an as-needed basis. Your obstetrician can arrange one of these early consults for you.

Read our frequently asked questions about obstetric anesthesia options

Leaders in Safety, Experts in High-Risk Pregnancies

Members of our staff are leaders in patient safety initiatives at Mass General and contribute to advancing the field of obstetric anesthesia by lecturing nationally, publishing frequently and taking leadership roles within various professional societies.

Our obstetric anesthesiologists have extensive expertise in high-risk pregnancies. We routinely care for patients with complex medical problems such as serious heart or lung conditions. Other hospitals routinely transfer patients with potentially challenging obstetric conditions such as pre-eclampsia and placenta problems to Mass General. Our anesthesia team is an integral part of the multidisciplinary team of specialists that cares for patients with complex obstetric conditions. We also regularly participate in medical simulation scenarios and practice drills to optimize our most critical crisis skills.   

The Division of Obstetric Anesthesia:

  • Specializes in high-risk pregnancies
  • Offers specialized maternal fetal medicine and neonatal care
  • Has access to extraordinary Intensive Care Units (ICUs) at Mass General, which are available to care for high-risk pregnancies and unexpected critical care needs
  • Holds multidisciplinary team meetings to coordinate care for patients. The anesthesia team meets twice daily with the rest of the obstetric care team to discuss every patient on the labor floor, with the goal being to ensure comprehensive, well-organized care

Research

The Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Mass General is a national leader in anesthesia research. Many of our faculty members have authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and regularly participate in academic conferences throughout the world. Our research keeps us at the leading edge of modern medical practice. Learn more

Education

Mass General is home to one of the top anesthesia training programs in the country, with approximately 100 residents and fellows. We are proud to be a leader in preparing the next generation of anesthesia physicians. Our attending physicians closely supervise our trainees in order to prioritize both education and patient safety. 

Learn more about our Obstetric Anesthesia Fellowship 

Mass General Difference

Mass General is consistently ranked among the best hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Our ranking is based on our quality of care, patient safety and reputation in more than a dozen different specialties. Our commitment to excellence means that we work to ensure that you receive the best care at all points during your visit.

As an academic medical center, Mass General invests in research to understand disease and develop new approaches in treatment. Our doctors are leaders within their respective fields and collaborate with colleagues in various departments across the hospital. As a patient, you benefit from shared expertise, leading research, and our commitment to quality and excellence.