Birth Definitions

Anaesthetist Definition


Anaesthetists, also called anesthesiologists, are doctors who specialize in the administration of anaesthesia. Anaesthesia is a technique used to achieve general or localised pain relief during surgical procedures, childbirth and other medical treatments.

The role of the anaesthetist during pregnancy and childbirth is to provide pain relief for the mother. This can be done through a variety of methods, including regional anaesthesia (such as epidurals), general anaesthesia, or a combination of both.

Anaesthetists are highly trained medical professionals who specialize in administering anaesthesia. They work closely with the obstetrician and other members of the birthing team to ensure a safe and comfortable delivery for the mother and baby.

Anaesthetists use a variety of drugs to induce anaesthesia, including intravenous fluids, inhaled gases and injected agents. They also monitor patients’ vital signs during surgery and administer additional doses of anaesthesia as needed.


Anaesthetist is not to be confused with the following terms:

  • Anesthesiologist: A medical doctor who specializes in anaesthesia
  • Nurse anesthetist: A registered nurse who has specialized training in anaesthesia
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA): A nurse anesthetist who has completed additional training and certification

Other Related Terms

Some closely related terms include:

  • Airway management
  • Intubation
  • Ventilation
  • Oxygenation
  • Resuscitation
  • Perioperative care

This image shows how often the term ‘Anaesthetist’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

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