Let’s get things straight right here and now. Birth Doulas support birth. ALL births. Being a Doula for a long time, I have had to debunk the myths of what kind of support we provide on a regular basis. “I have an OB’. To which we reply “Great!”. “I’m delivering in a hospital.” To which we reply, “Great!”. “I plan to have an epidural.” To which we reply “Great!’.
There is this vision that we as Doulas are in the corner of a candle-lit room, in a clients home, chanting and beating a drum. While there are some clients that would like the kind of support, that is not what most of us do. As Doulas we support using tools to enjoy the experience of meeting your baby for the first time. This may include a home water birth or a medical hospital birth.
Just imagine for a minute if we take away the judgement around the tools available for safe deliveries and start thinking of them for what they really are-tools. Breathing, position changes, baths, showers, etc are tools. Narcotics, nitrous oxide and epidural are also tools. As a person in labour you may use a few tools or lots of tools, both medicated and unmediated. That is totally okay. Having options for a safe and enjoyable delivery is why we are so happy that we live where we do. With our clients we spend our prenatal visits educating expectant families on all these tools.
- What are some techniques that can help you get through early labour and get more rest?
- What techniques can help reduce anxiety and stress surrounding labour and birth?
- What techniques are used to stay comfortable before an epidural?
- When is a good time to get an epidural?
- What techniques can be used to stay connected to the process while still having an epidural?
- What are techniques to use if the epidural doesn’t work quite as planned?
These are all the topics you would discuss with your Doula to be fully informed of the options available to you.
Let’s start focusing on all the tools that are available to laboring moms and stop placing judgement on those tools or the moms who decide to use them.