Do I need a doula if... I want an epidural?
Doulas are known to be a great help for moms who want a unmedicated birth, but what if that is not what you are planning? A lot of families feel that doulas are not necessary if they know they will have an epidural. The benefits of a doula's support go beyond those of just supporting an unmedicated
Prenatal support- Regardless of the type of birth you choose, doulas offer valuable information, resources, and emotional support while you are pregnant. Doulas can answer your questions on what to expect at the hospital, the process of epidurals and other interventions, and your options. We spend time with you to get to know you and how to best support you as a family during the birth of your child. Doctor's busy schedules often makes this difficult for them.
Continuous Support- Most of the research-based evidence on doulas comes back to continuous support. Whether you choose an epidural or not, continuous support still improves outcomes, reduces the need for interventions like Cesareans, and increases satisfaction with your experience. Doula support is not just physical comfort measures. The emotional aspect of birth and the advocacy role of doulas can not be over-emphasized.
The Unknown- With any birth, situations can arise that were not planned. Doulas are knowledgeable in medical interventions as well as options, risks, and benefits. They can help you navigate through any changes of plan. Then help you come to terms with and understand what is happening. Doulas also recognize that you may need to talk and process after the birth with someone who was there.
Birth is so much more than just a physical experience! Even with an epidural, doulas can benefit you during labor!