Oh the controversial topic of Epidurals... Often, our views on such topics are predetermined due to stories we've heard from family or friends. It's so important that YOU decide what is best for YOUR experience. No matter what you decide, please know that you are strong and capable!
Let’s dive into some epidural basics.
What is an epidural?
An epidural works to significantly reduce pain during labor and delivery, though a sense of intense pressure is often still present. An epidural is a nerve block delivered through a small, flexible tube (catheter) that is inserted into the spine at the small of the back. They are used for both vaginal and c-section deliveries. When given an epidural, a pump is also placed at the bedside so the mother can choose to push the button to receive a controlled boost. Some epidurals are lighter doses and you may still be able to lift your legs while in the bed. With a higher dose epidural you may not be able to move your legs. Your upper body is not affected. You are awake and alert. It takes about 10-15 minutes to take effect and sometimes things have to be adjusted.
IV’s are given with epidurals. IV fluids can cause retained water weight in the mother and baby. If the breast is swollen from fluids, this can impact the baby’s ability to latch for breastfeeding. IV fluids also can slightly increase a baby's weight, so when they naturally lose that water weight, it may inflate how much weight a baby has truly lost and cause some anxiety in mothers and pediatricians.
The 615 Doula Co Approach
Doula support is correlated with fewer requests for pain medication, however, I proudly support women that are planning for either option! As your doula, I will be right by your side as you and your family make this tough choice.
Sources // Evidence Based Birth, DONA, National Library of Medicine, Stanford Study