I get this question quite often...why would I want a doula if I plan on getting an epidural?
I think that there is a major misconception out there that doulas are only pro "natural childbirth". No, friends....we are simply pro childbirth! My job as a doula is to help you achieve YOUR birth goals and be there to fully support and encourage you. So today I am going to share how a doula can help you during your birth if you plan on having an epidural!
1) Pain Management
I know what you are thinking...but I am getting an epidural. Doulas are present for most of your active labor. That means we will be there before you are able to get an epidural. This is where relaxation and pain coping techniques come into play. A doula is able to help you find the best coping technique for you and keep you focused during those contractions.
Once you have your epidural, a doula can help you change positions and keep your pelvis open to allow baby to continue to come down. L and D nurses are wonderful and great at this, but because their job is busy and demanding they can't be with you throughout your entire labor. This is where it is great to have a doula. A doula will be with you the entire time you are in labor. We can keep you comfortable and in optimal positions once the epidural has been administered.
3) Comfort Measures
Even though you may not be feeling those contractions, a doula can still provide comfort for the birthing mother. Whether it be a cool washcloth on the head, a massage, or simply keeping the room peaceful; a doula is there to make your birth the best it can be.
4) Continuous Support
I briefly mentioned this above, but a doula will not leave your side! That is the beauty of the job. Because we only have one client at a time we are able to focus all of our energy on one birthing mother. This means we are able to be there from the start of labor until that beautiful baby is born!
5) Communication and Questions
Because doulas are trained birth professionals they desire to have a good rapport with the doctors and staff at the birthing places they serve. This can be a helpful bridge between the parents and staff. A doula is there to answer questions you may have about certain procedures, or simply be a voice of encouragement if your birth preference plan may have to change gears a bit.
6) Help With Pushing
As nice as it would be for someone to help you actually physically push....that isn't what I am talking about :) A doula will give you some coaching, advice on optimal ways to push, and just simply speak encouraging words.
If you have any more questions about how a doula can help you, please feel free to contact me today!