I will take a doula and an epidural please!

So you aren't planning a natural birth, and you want the drugs! Think a doula isn't for you? Sacred Bee Doula feels like you are exactly the person who can benefit from a doula!

Read the article below to see how doulas are very beneficial to women who have planned medicialized births!

I’ll Take a Doula and an Epidural


June 30, 2011

I’m planning on having an epidural. How will a doula benefit me?

If you’re planning on having an epidural for your upcoming birth (after weighing the risks and benefits and making an informed decision) you may be wondering how a doula can help you.

A doula can help you stay relaxed and comfortable at home during early labor, assisting you and your birthing companions and helping everyone to remain confident and calm. She can help with position changes, give reminders to eat, drink, use the bathroom and make suggestions for comfort measures that will help throughout your birth.

We know that birthing is an intimate event. By remaining at home in early labor you increase the effectiveness of your labor as you are better able to relax in your environment. Many women—especially first time moms—say they are able to calmly labor at home for much longer than they would have without a doula’s support. This may allow for interventions to be avoided and result in a quicker, more effective labor.

Benefits of staying at home longer during labor:

Aids mobility which helps labor progress

Moms eat and drink as desired at home

Labor can seem shorter if moms stay at home longer

Moms rest better at home

More labor interventions can be avoided

Arriving at the hospital too soon can increase labor complications

Aren’t doulas against epidurals?

The continuous, experienced support provided by a birth doula begins in early labor and continues until after your baby is born. Many women supported by doulas report not needing pain medication. The calming effect of a doula can support confidence in the birthing process and keep the fear-tension-pain cycle from beginning or taking hold of your labor. Doulas normalize childbirth, not just for the laboring woman, but for her support team as well so that everyone can feel confident and contribute to a successful, positive birth.

options, be informed of the risks and benefits and allow space and time (when it is not an emergency) for you and your partner to make the best choice for your situation.

Doesn’t it cost a lot?

Women supported by doulas report amazing benefits. The financial benefit alone is often significant. Many women using doulas have shorter hospital stays, saving on co-pays, and often pay less out-of-pocket for costly interventions. Their babies have shorter hospital stays and require less special nursery care. Mothers with doulas have increased breastfeeding success which can save money on lactation appointments and co-pays, not to mention formula costs. Mothers also report higher satisfaction with their birth experiences and a closer bond with their babies.

Go ahead, get the support you need during this once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s good for you, your baby and your whole family! See the Bloom Spokane Provider Directory for a list of local doulas.

References: McDermott, AM., “Factors Associated with Non-Normal Birth Outcomes,” Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health, March-Apr. 2010.

However, the role of a doula is NOT to persuade a woman that she shouldn’t have pain relief. Sometimes an epidural is exactly what a woman needs, but they are not always 100% effective. A doula can help you cope with incomplete epidural pain relief, fast labor and early labor contractions when an epidural is not an option. If numbness is affecting your ability to push, your doula can give suggestions and encouragement (doula care is linked to less forceps & vacuum deliveries). A doula can also help minimize the side effects of an epidural or other pain medication. She will provide important, constant comfort and reassurance that a laboring woman needs regardless of pain medication.

In the event that interventions are needed, your doula can help you and your partner investigate your options!

#doulaandaepidural #doulasandmedicalizedbirth #everywomansdoula

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© 2011 by Samantha Mahon serving families in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia

Tel: 843.345.6597

Samantha Mahon

Certified Doula

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