Although there are risks with epidurals such as ineffective pain relief, increased risk of needing labour augmentation and therefore an increased risk of needing a c-section, we have also seen the benefits of them when used as a tool during labour.
Sometimes an epidural can be the best choice for a long, exhausting labour or an effective tool for relaxing the birther's body enough to allow baby to maneuver into more optimal positioning. However, what often happens once the epidural is administered is a renewed burst of energy and sense of relief, leading the birthing person to become mentally alert and chatty.
Although we are glad to see you feeling better, we know that this state of mind does not promote the secretion of birthing hormones that is needed for labour to progress. Going inward and focusing on staying calm helps with this hormone production. even though you won't be feeling much of your labour, your body is still working hard and needs your help!
Here's our recommendations to keep labour flowing and avoid further intervention if you choose an epidural:
* Turn off all the lights and close the blinds and the door
* Ask for quiet and privacy (machine noises can be turned down!)
* Use earplugs or earbuds with music/meditation recordings/white noise to drown out noise and keep a calm body and mind.
* Ask for ALL of the pillows to get you comfy.
* Have your doula help you into comfortable positions that promote optimal baby positioning.
* Finally, if you can...SLEEP! Perhaps this means adding a sleep mask to your hospital bag list.
For more information on how a doula can help you, go HERE