Make it #$%@^ Stop! How Doulas Support Medicated Birth

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We've all heard it.

"Doulas are for natural births."

While we totally agree with this statement, we feel like it needs to be amended. It doesn't account for the vast and varied options women have these days!

Doulas are for natural, induced, cesarean and medicated births. Doulas are for all types of birth!

We believe that there isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to birth your baby. Whatever way you choose, we support what you have deemed to be the right way for you. Sometimes that includes pain medication.

"What are my options for pain medication should I choose it?"

An epidural is a regional anesthesia. This means that once it is placed, a specific region of your body (typically from your nipples to your knees) will be numbed. Other options for pain relief include narcotics (such as Stadol, Nubain or Morphine) and, more recently in the US, Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas. In Kansas City you will find the first two, the use of Nitrous Oxide is slowly making its way through the country.

"How can a doula be helpful if I choose pain medication?" you may be wondering.

In our experience, there are many ways! From answering questions about the procedures or risks and benefits to physical support, we've been valuable assets to the birth teams of many laboring women who opted for pain relief. 

"If I'm not in pain, though, how could a doula support me in the birth room?"

There are actually a few different answers to that question. 

First, a doula can be there to support you during placement or administering. Maybe you don't love needles or the idea of an epidural. Maybe you need some help keeping still. Doulas can be the support you need, physically or emotionally, to actually receive your pain relief.

Second, doulas can be there in the interim between deciding you'd like medication and actually receiving it. Just because you've called for an epidural doesn't mean you'll get it right away and the time between making that decision and actually getting what you're calling for can seem even more uncomfortable or painful than it had before! We are there to keep you focused and calm as we wait for the nurse or anesthesiologist.

Third, we can help keep you moving during labor. Moving during an epidural? Yes! With the use of things like peanut balls or pillows, we can help you in rotating throughout labor and ensuring your pelvis stays open so your baby can continue to descend.

Fourth, we can be there should any complications arise. As much as it isn't talked about, sometimes epidurals don't work. Alternately, sometimes they work TOO well! Narcotics (an alternative to an epdiural) wear off at some point and carry their own set of possible side effects. Should the pain come back, we're there for you to support. If the numbness happens to travel too far (such as across your chest making it feel like you can't breathe) we are there.

These four reasons (along with ensuring you've got plenty of cool water, ice chips and your partner is resting and taken care of as well) are just a few of the reasons we're such an awesome part of your birth team no matter what you choose.

We believe your birth space is no place for judgment or activism.

Nobody knows your body, baby and birth like you do! 

"Where can I learn more about hiring you for my planned medicated birth?"

Glad you asked! Click here to learn more about adding one of our professional doulas to your plan.

Epidural, Stadol or Nitrous Oxide, our doulas are there to support birth!