Each year over 75,000 pregnant women in the United States undergo nonobstetric surgery. The operations include those directly related to pregnancy, such as cerclage, those indirectly related to pregnancy, such as ovarian cystectomy, and those unrelated to gestation, such as appendectomy. When a pregnant woman presents for surgery, it is a stressful event for everyone involved. Issues about the surgical problem itself often seem secondary to maternal (and physician) concerns about the effect of surgery and anesthesia on the developing fetus, or the potential to trigger preterm labor. This article reviews the physiologic and anatomic changes that affect anesthetic care during pregnancy. The author also reviews the effects of anesthetic drugs and perioperative events on the fetus and on the pregnancy outcome. The relatively small number of published series are reviewed as well as the controversial recommendations regarding fetal and maternal monitoring during surgery.