Tampa, FL Doula Christie, owner of Buddha Belly Doulas, shares 6 ways that a doula can assist you during birth, even if you decide to get an epidural. Here’s what she has to say:
“Giving birth is an incredible experience that can be challenging and overwhelming. Having a doula by your side, a trained professional who provides support during pregnancy, labor and birth, is an excellent way to make the experience more positive.
If you’re planning to get an epidural for pain management during labor, you may be wondering if hiring a doula is still a good idea or even necessary. In fact, we recently heard an expecting parent say: “I don’t need a doula. I’m getting an epidural immediately!”
Having an epidural can certainly help with physical pain relief. However, your doula brings a unique set of skills and can benefit you in many different ways. Here are just some ways a doula can support you even if you plan to get an epidural:
- Emotional Support: The birth of your child can bring you to a state of vulnerability that you’ve never experienced before. The childbirth process may be extremely intense. Your doula will listen, understand and validate your feelings. She will help you manage the emotional aspect and remain calm. Unlike your nurses and care providers taking care of many families at the same time, your doula is there for you, your family and nobody else. She is completely devoted to you and will not leave your side. She is a sounding board for your concerns, worries, and fears. She will help to put things into perspective so that you feel confident and reassured.
- Informational Support: As labor progresses and things change you or your partner may have questions. Your knowledgeable doula is full of answers to all of your questions about procedures and interventions. Perhaps your partner is wondering if things are normal. Your doula can reassure them. When making any big decisions that may affect the direction or outcome of your birth, your doula will help you review the pros and cons so you feel informed through the process.
- Empowerment: Expecting parents can sometimes feel intimidated or overwhelmed in the unfamiliar, clinical environment of a hospital. Your doula helps you navigate the hospital system and communicate with your medical team. She will help you and your partner feel empowered to ask questions and advocate for yourself if you feel uncomfortable or unsure about any procedures. Your doula strengthens you to be an active participant in your birth experience.
- Physical Comfort: While an epidural can provide pain relief, there may still be times during labor when you experience discomfort or pain. It can sometimes take 30 mins to an hour or more before an anesthesiologist is available to set up your epidural. The anesthesiologist needs at least 10 – 15 minutes to place the epidural, and it takes another 10 – 15 minutes before you will feel pain relief. A fair amount of time can pass from the moment you ask for the epidural, to the moment you actually feel the relief. During this wait period, or at any other time in labor, your doula can offer comfort measures to help you cope. This can include: massage, breathing techniques, counter pressure, positioning and more to keep you as relaxed and comfortable as possible. After your epidural is placed, your doula will also suggest and help you move into different positions in bed, every 30 min to an hour, to encourage labor progress.
- Partner Support: We can’t forget that your partner is going through this emotional experience with you. Your doula can be a resource to guide them, give them a break to rest, and reassure them that you are okay. She may show your partner specific ways to physically support you, which can help your partner feel more engaged. She will keep your partner’s comfort level in mind to ensure they are as involved as little or as much as they would like to be.
- A Personal Touch: Your doula gives you undivided, individualized care that may not be otherwise possible in a hospital setting. She can help you create a birth plan that takes your unique circumstances and preferences into account. Your doula will customize her approach to meet your specific needs and offer a level of care that is completely attuned to you and your family.
At Buddha Belly Doulas, we work with many families who choose to have an epidural AND the dedicated support of our seasoned doulas. Giving birth is something you will remember for the rest of your life. So why not allow yourself to have the ultimate level of support, to feel confident and relaxed as you welcome your new baby into the world!”
Head on over to Buddha Belly Birth to schedule your free consultation with a team member. You can also call them directly at 727-489-4750 or email them at email@example.com.
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