Should I Hire A Doula If I Want An Epidural?

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This post was inspired by Arkansas Family Doulas.

Doulas provide professional, personalized, unbiased, evidence-based care – emotional, physical, and informational support – for mothers giving birth – for all types of births.

Doulas are trained support persons who understand the ins and outs and complications and details of labor and birth, and are there to assist the mother in any which way she needs.

But should you hire a doula If you want an epidural?

Short answer: yes!

Natural, induced, epidural, you name it – a doula is there by your side.

Doulas have a fairly strong reputation of supporting natural births, and this is because of the numerous benefits to it, among other reasons. Yet this doesn’t denote the benefit of hiring a doula if you are choosing medication for your birth, or if you need a ceserean.

Each year, the number of mothers choosing doula support is steadily rising. Doulas are in fact for everyone! However natural or not you are, a doula can help support you in your birth. And professional doulas know that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all for childbirth. Going all natural is not every mother’s choice, simply because it isn’t the right fit, or there are more pressing health concerns. And that’s okay.

A professional doula knows this, and comes alongside the mother to do her job: physical, informational, emotional support, in whichever way she needs – within the scope of a doula.

Doulas support mothers in labor, and doulas support childbirth. We love the details of labor and birth, mamas, and their babies. That’s our job!

In fact…

Doula is a Greek word whose definition has come to mean a woman who helps other women.

The word has further evolved to mean a woman experienced / knowledgeable in childbirth, who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during, and after childbirth.

The modern Greek word doula translates literally as “servant-woman.”

The Doula Book, by Klaus, M.Hm. et. al. (2002)

Having a doula is about so much more than if you choose to get medication for childbirth or not. It’s about..

  • having emotional and physical support in the process – you are still going through a lot!
  • having access 24/7 to a person who knows labor like it’s her job (because it is) and can answer you questions
  • having support for your partner who may be brand new to witnessing a childbirth, whom also needs support and encouragement and coaching on the big day
  • having someone there who supports your decisions in childbirth and cheers you on for owning your choices and knowing what you want – no judging here
  • knowing that someone is there for you, solely to focus on (and anticipate) your needs
  • having someone there who knows birth inside and out, especially in the rare case the epidural fails or only gives unexpected partial relief (back-up plan for labor, anyone?)

If you’re a mama who falls into the category of those who want and look forward to, or even feel too scared to choose otherwise, or haven’t thought of anything else but to get an epidural – be assured that hiring a doula is still extremely beneficial for you.

The benefits of a supportive, compassionate, skilled, and knowledgable doula are an immense benefit to any mother’s birth plan and wishes.

Want to learn more about doulas? Check these links out:

Did you have an epidural, and would you have chosen to hire a doula if you knew that you could? Is there anything you’d change about your past birth experiences if you could?

~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama

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