Whether you have a general, spinal or epidural anesthesia for a cesarean birth will depend on your health and that of your baby. It also depends on the reason for the cesarean, and whether it is a scheduled or emergency procedure.
If you already have an epidural catheter in place, most of the time your anesthesia provider will either increase the medicine in the epidural or remove the epidural catheter and do a separate injection of medicine in your lower back (spinal) to numb the entire abdomen for the surgery. This way you are awake but do not feel pain during the birth of your baby. If there is no epidural in place, or if the epidural does not seem to be fully functional, you will have a spinal or general anesthesia.
General Anesthesia: It can be started quickly and causes a rapid loss of consciousness. Therefore, it is typically reserved for emergency situations.