Do I Still Need A Doula If I Get An Epidural?

In case you are wondering: I am getting an epidural, why do I need a doula anyway? Getting the right support in any birth scenario is important. It can improve birth outcomes and overall satisfaction with labor.

 

I had a birth a few months ago with a wonderful couple. By the time I got to the hospital, the mom had got an epidural. The pain was just not manageable. She mostly felt it on one side, which to me suggested an asynclitic baby. The OB later confirmed that. Even though my client was getting pain relief, there was still a lot to do. Her partner and I helped mom turn every half an hour; I rubbed and massaged her legs, since medication settled on one side and made her top leg numb; I applied acupressure; made bicycle movements with her legs to make more room in the pelvis and improve baby’s position; provided emotional support to mom and her partner, etc. Eventually, things moved along. After the baby was born, I coached them through first stages of breastfeeding.

 

Sometimes after epidural everyone just relaxes for a while. You settle in a chair, wrap a Rebozo around your shoulders, and watch mom and the partner rest. For a minute. Then, it’s time to reach into your “doula bag” and set to work. Massage, position changes, acupressure, a peanut ball (a highly effective tool when epidural is in the game), and Rebozo all get the job done.

 

One more point to add. If you are considering getting an epidural, but would still like to have a vaginal birth, it might be a good idea to delay it until the active stage of labor (around 6-7cm) to lessen the effect of epidural on the labor pattern. A doula will help you get there using natural comfort measures, like the ones I mentioned before and some more.
So, here you have it! I hope you find this information useful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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larisacox

I'm a Birth Doula.

Together we will go over your birth plan, your fears and expectations; practice breathing and massage techniques, and birth positions; go over how to stay nourished and hydrated during labor; discuss different birth outcomes and interventions used during labor and the best ways to interact with the medical team to make sure you are prepared as best as you can be for the most satisfying birth. My services include:1 prenatal consultation around 36 weeks; prenatal phone/email support from 7 am to 9 pm, and round the clock phone/email support during labor until we meet; continuous labor support; 1 postpartum meetings within 3 weeks after the birth.