Want An Epidural? Here Is Why You Want A Doula Too…

do I need an doula if I get an epidural blog

Not everyone wants a natural drug-free birth. There is nothing wrong with that! Thankfully the epidural is available at most hospitals.

Currently over 60% of women report utilizing an epidural or spinal pain relief in labor. It is without question the most effective form of pain relief in labor.

As a doula, I support ALL types of birth. Whether you are having a water birth at home, or birthing at the hospital utilizing the comfort a epidural provides, I strive to make your birth the best it can be.

Some people are weary of getting an epidural due to the potential side effects. Many are fearful that epidural will slow or stall their labor,  and in turn cause a “cascade of {additional} interventions”. However every women’s labor and circumstances are different.

All of Those concerns are valid and shouldn’t be ignored, but it is up to each woman to assess to her own situation and comfort level of the potential risks vs the relief and rest she will get.

When I am your doula, whatever you choose for your birth, I will support you free from judgment.

If you want an epidural, I will do what I can to make it the most intimate, comfortable, productive birth experience possible. I will never make you feel guilty or judged. I know that you are more than capable of choosing what is right for you.

Here Is What Your Doula Care Will Look Like:

Early Labor Coaching:

Unlike the media portrays, you don’t get to speed off to the hospital the moment you feel contractions or your water breaks. Most Labor and Delivery units will not admit you unless you are in active labor; that means at least 4cm dilated with contractions 4-5 minutes apart. Early labor is most often the longest stage of labor. I will coach and guide you though that “waiting stage” where your contractions are intense but you are not yet able to be admitted or get your epidural.

Continual Support:

When birthing at the hospital, your nurse will be the main person who cares for you. However, nurses may also be helping assist with other families, charting, and attending to various other responsibilities. The time  they are able to spend with you is often a lot less than you expect. Most of the time you will be left to labor alone with your partner.

With a doula by your side, you will have continual support throughout your labor. I am by your side to answer any questions, tend to your needs, and support you any way I can.

Position Change:

Changing positions is KEY when you have an epidural. Your body needs to feel as if it is still active even though you are confined to bed. I know many positions and techniques that help open the pelvis and aid in keeping the labor productive.

Support For Your Partner:

No matter who your birth partner is (your significant other, your mother, or your friend) they need support too! This can look a lot of different ways: Helping them realize what is normal, taking on the more “up close and personal” roles if they get queasy, keeping them nourished so they keep up their energy too, and filling in the care gap so they can take a quick nap if needed. I am here to support the whole birth team.

 Keeping You Connected:

After getting an epidural, some women have felt less connected to their labor. Everyone goes to take a nap or eat, and the mother is left alone for a time to lie in bed and wait for labor to progress. As your doula, I do what I can to make your epidural experience as dreamy and intimate as you envisioned. Whether that means helping you track your contractions or simply keeping you company while your birth companions nap or run to the cafeteria, I am here to fill in the gaps and support you emotionally.

Navigating The Unexpected:

As we know, birth doesn’t always go as planned. If concerns arise or an intervention becomes necessary, I will be with you every step of the way. I help you ask the right questions so you can be sure you are making an informed choice. I will never push my biases on you, but instead, help you find what is right for you and your family.

 

Don’t write off the benefits of a doula just because you want an epidural.

Bust that silly myth and invest in professional, continuous care to help make your epidural even more comfortable and productive.

 

doula with a epidural

 

bellingham wa doulaAbout the author: Molly Seimears is a birth doula in Bellingham, Washington. She lives in Whatcom County and is passionate about birth and serving families in her community.

One Comment

  1. Great article! I’ll be sharing with my clients 🙂

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