Doula Support Doesn’t End Where An Epidural Begins.
I remember it vividly. There I was standing at my client’s bedside plugging her phone in so it could charge up when her doctor says to me with a smile, “I guess you’re going home now since she got the epidural!”
Wait, what? I did a double take to make sure he was actually speaking to me, and he was.
“Why would I do that? There are lots of ways I can support them with an epidural. Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins. Why would I leave?” I asked.
My client, she quickly chimed in, “Don’t go anywhere. I need you here. I don’t know what we would do without you.”
Her husband agreed, “Yeah, we need her here for the pushing and whatever else I don’t even know what else yet!”
What the doctor said next sort of surprised me, “Most doulas leave when the patient gets an epidural since doulas are against medication.”
A conversation ensued.
Turns out, there are a lot of doulas that come through the hospital while he’s the on-call physician who leave when an epidural was administered. These doulas leave without the clients asking them to leave.
Honestly, I wish I could say that I’m shocked, but I’m not.
I’ve heard it before from doctors, nurses, and even from a couple doulas themselves. I’d like to believe that the doulas just panicked and regretted it and learned from their mistakes, but still, where does that leave the birthing woman and her partner (if she had one)?
Why are they leaving?
Are they leaving because they lack they lack the ability to support a person(s) through a medicated birth? Are they leaving because they think that’s what they are supposed to do when a client needs or wants an epidural?
I’ve had people tell me that their doula left them or made them feel horrible for opting to get an epidural, other pain medication, or for needing or choosing cesarean birth. It’s also not unusual to hear someone speak of doulas as if they’re only valuable when a person wants to birth “all-naturally”!
Well, that’s shit! Straight up, utter bullshit!
I’m not shocked, but I am disgusted. When couples contract with First Coast Doulas they know without a shadow of a doubt that they are getting unconditional, non-judgmental, full and complete support. They know that their doula comes to them agenda-free and ready to serve and support them in a way that is unique to them.
Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins!
Our clients know there are no do-overs in birth. This is a once in a lifetime experience, they get it! They want the very best in non-judgmental support, a personal connection, and a place they feel is safe to think and talk through things as they navigate new terrain.
The fact that we have to specify “non-judgemental” with support is gross, to be honest! The term “non-judgemental support” seems like an oxymoron. Think about it.
Just to be absolutely 100% clear, when hiring First Coast Doulas your birth and postpartum experience belongs to you in every way! We will never try to “know better” than you. We will not try to “push or sway” you, or give you misinformation.
It’s your journey! It’s not about what anyone else wants or thinks.
Whether you have goals and a vision or you just want to wing, we got you! We support and encourage you and your partner in pregnancy, labor, birth, and the fourth trimester! We do not leave you if your plan changes or you opt for pain medication.
So, how does First Coast Doulas “support” you if you choose or need an epidural or cesarean birth? The same way we support you without one:
- fully and completely
- one on one
- with encouragement
- we help you understand your options
- create a plan and navigate if your plan changes
- emotional support is HUGE with or without an epidural
- help you stay relaxed
- can help you focus
- help you breath more effectively
- using pros and cons
- explaining each new process
- positioning, you’re not limited to your back!
- comfort measures, not every epidural works, there is still some discomfort/pain in most cases
Are there actual physical ways we can support you? You betcha!
Furthermore, we do all of this while also supporting and encouraging your partner so he/she can be more comfortable and an intricate part of the experience!
With First Coast Doulas, Doula support doesn’t end where an epidural begins.
Happy birth and parenting!
~ Your Team at First Coast Doulas
Further reading: Doulas & Epridurals