Epidural rates in Pittsburgh hospitals are pretty high, so many of our clients will have one. There are a number of reasons you might still want a doula!
A doula helps with positions and techniques to continue the labor process once the epidural is placed and you’re confined to bed. Lying down can slow labor, but we have some ideas that can help you maintain your progress when you’re resting. We discuss when you need to just sleep, and when you might want to be more active, even on the epidural. We’ll remind you to roll over regularly to maintain even relief from your epidural, too.
Epidurals are not 100% effective, can offer partial relief or wear off, and
With most epidurals, you will still feel the intense pressure during pushing and crowning. You also might not be able to push as effectively with the lessened sensations. We might suggest some different positions, hold your leg, whisper encouraging words, or just cheer you on. We remind your partner to offer you water and refresh your cool compress if you’d like. Pushing can be a very intense sensation, especially if you’ve not been feeling much for hours.
Often clients want an epidural, but hope to hold out as long as possible. It is rare, but epidurals can wear off and a repeat dose isn’t usually as effective. Let us help you get as far as you want to without the medication and decide when you need it.
In very rare instances, women don’t find out until they are actually in labor that they can’t get an epidural due to some physical abnormality or other medical concern. There are some instances when an epidural may not be administered, such as low platelets, abnormality in your spine, or extremely low blood pressure. If, for some reason you just plain can’t have one, wouldn’t it be great to have someone there who is experienced in helping with unmedicated birth?
So, you do need a doula to go with your epidural? Yes! An epidural is a great tool and we can help you use it even more effectively.