I've said it before and I'll say it again: EPIDURALS ARE NOT EVIL. *Gasp* Are you shocked to read those words from a doula who has given birth twice without an epidural and has supported more than two dozen other moms who have done the same? It's the truth. Epidurals can be helpful and effective tools when used apporpriately. The same is true for IV pain medications used during labor and birth.
Sometimes, for many different reasons, moms who had chosen and prepared for an unmedicated birth decide during labor to get an epidural or have some IV narcotics. And that is OK. I won't leave. There is still plenty I can do to help. The list of labor positions I have in my head is huge and continuously growing. Several of those positions can be done with an epidural in place. I can still get mom and dad drinks and snacks. I can still give mom massages and whisper encouraging words. I can still show dad ways he may be comforting to mom. I can still gather information and answer questions that mom and dad may have.
Sometimes, mom requests “something” or specifically an epidural and I know that if we can just get her over this “hump” she will do beautifully without one. In those instances, I begin making suggestions of other things to try first. Which leads me to......
12 things to try before you get the epidural:
As I said before (and I'm sure I'll say again) epidurals are not evil. But, if you are hoping for an unmedicated, low-intervention birth, please try some of these suggestions if you find yourself asking for one. They just may get you through that tough spot and accomplish your goal.
Amber Piller - Professional Birth Doula and owner of Agape Birth Services. Serving Northwest Houston including Jersey Village, Cypress, Tomball, Spring, and Katy Texas.