As a doula I get the feeling most women believe just because I help women cope with the pain I think they should avoid pain medication. This is an incorrect fact! As a doula I believe and know all births are different and all birthing women are different. Some feel they can cope with the pain without pain medication, some don’t, and some want to try to cope without it but are open to it. I do not care which you choose, as long as it is YOUR decision not someone else’s that they forced upon you.
Did you know that more then 50% of laboring mothers use an epidural?
Some Pros and cons of epidurals vs no pain medication:
- allows you to rest from the pain, sometimes you may even be able to sleep
- with the pain relief some women have a more positive birth experience
- may give you the extra strength needed to move forward with delivery
- with the epidural in place you may stay awake if a cesarean is necessary
- can help you deal with exhaustion and fatigue
- can cause your blood pressure to suddenly drop
- may get a severe headache
- slowed or stopped labor
- the following are side effects from the epidural: shivering, ringing in ears, backache, soreness where needle was placed, nausea, or difficulty urinating.
- some women find the epidural makes pushing more difficult
- in rare cases permanent nerve damage may happen where the catheter was inserted
- baby may have trouble latching on
- baby might experience respiratory depression, fetal malpositioning, and an increase in fetal heart rate variability, thus increasing the need for forceps, vacuum, cesarean deliveries and episiotomies. *1
For a few hours after the birth, the lower half of your body may feel numb. Numbness will require you to walk with assistance.
- freedom to move around during labor
- allows you to work with your contractions which can speed up labor and delivery
- during pushing you can choose which position to birth in
- faster recovery
- no pain medication can make the birthing woman feel more empowered
- more fatigue during labor
- possible increase in blood loss
- breathing and position changes only provide some pain relief
When deciding pain relief for your labor a delivery remember its YOUR birth, make an informed decision. Do your research, check out americanpregnancy.org for more information.
If you would like help creating a birth wish list, please contact The Nurturing Doula, LLC
~ Katy Schmidt
The Nurturing Doula, LLC
-Please note I am not a medical provider, talk to your Dr regarding your decisions.-
*1 reference- americanpregnancy.org