Chelsea is not currently taking doula clients in Los Angeles. She is available for phone, skype, and email consultations if you want to talk with an experienced doula who had no horse in the game.
Chelsea Shure, CD(DONA), HCHD
chelsea at westsidedoula.com
(440)WS-Doula (440) 973-6852
Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypno-Doula
LA Family Contributor (Birth Brouhaha)
ICAN of West Los Angeles (now ICAN OF LOS ANGELES)
Former Chapter Leader, Chapter Founder
Former Co-Director of Public Relations, Former web mistress for dascevents.org, Former Circle Co-Leader for West LA Circle group.
Proud founding member,
To have, or avoid, an epidural is your decision. Like any decision regarding your baby's birth, it is in your best interest to research it and find out as much as you can about the procedure.
If you wish to avoid a cesarean delivery, you should wait for as long as possible so as to avoid the epidural stalling labor.
You CAN ask for the anesthesia to be turned down so that you can feel the urge to push (and where).
You CAN ask for a lower dose so that you can try different positions on the bed. But it is unlikely that you will be able to be up and moving around.
Here is my own little beef. At the hospital, you may only be given enough information to agree with whatever intervention is offered, and not enough to make an informed decision. That said, at the hospital is a ROTTEN time to START learning about a serious intervention like an epidural/pitocin/induction/etc.
It is your job to do your research, and to weigh the pros and cons before hand so that when presented with the decision you will already know the facts that you need to make it.
Please take the time to visit their site and learn from them.
Recently I had lunch with a new girlfriend. She is the mother of a 9 month old baby and is often the case with me talk turned to all things baby and pregnancy related. I decided to tap into this font of new motherhood and ask her "what did you really want to know more about before your labor began" Immediately a word sprang from her mouth "Epidurals!" she exclaimed, "People either told me to get it right away or to stay away from it but nobody could really tell me anything else". "What did you want to know"? I asked "Everything." she replied. So here it is the pro's, the con's and some of the best alternatives I could find.
What exactly is an Epidural and how does it work?
An Epidural is an injection of a mixture of drugs into the spaces just before the spinal nerves. In labor the epidural is placed so that the nerves which carry messages from your womb, your lower back, pelvis and perineum are numbed from sensation. To prepare you for an epidural the nurse will first start in IV of fluids, this is an attempt to prevent a fall in blood pressure. They will then attach an electronic fetal monitor in order to listen to the baby's heart rate. Next comes the blood pressure cuff to monitor your blood pressure. The cuff will automatically inflate to take a reading every 15 minutes or so. When the Anesthesiologist arrives he will have you sit on the edge of the bed with your back curved around a pillow; like an angry cat or rainbow. He will then tell you that you must sit perfectly still, even if you have a contraction while he inserts the needle into the epidural space in your back. Next he will thread a tiny flexible plastic catheter through the needle and withdraw the needle. Finally he will secure the catheter with tape along your back and over your shoulder. Most commonly these days they will attach the medication to a pump which will maintain your dose at a continuous level. The epidural usually begins working in 10 to 20 minutes. It remains in place until after you have delivered your baby.
Even with the long list of cons, many women strongly feel that an epidural is necessary to block out pain. After all, what alternatives are there? Many think that there is no middle ground and that birth has to be either painful and natural or painless and medicated, however many women find that natural birth is absolutely bearable (some even say "pleasant"!) if they are equipped with some alternatives to medication. A laboring mother needn't lay writhing in agony on her back in the hospital bed!
Ten alternatives to an Epidural:
So there you have it: information! As I always say, "You can't make a choice if you don't have all the information."
Copyright © 2009-2012 Westside Doula
No reproduction permitted without permission.
That is patently false and misleading. There is a significant increased risk of c-section, labor augmentation, the use of forceps and/or vaccume during birth, and difficulty breast feeding.
An epidural does reduce the pain during birth, but there are risks attached. To not share this information with women is dishonest and dangerous. We are perfectly able to weigh the benefits and risks of this procedure, but to do this we need to know the facts.
By Lewis E. Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry
Department of Family Medicine
University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine