One of the most frequently asked questions about doulas is,
“I’m getting an epidural, so why would I need a doula?”
That’s a great question, and here are several things to keep in mind about why a doula is always a great member to have on your birth team.
- Your doula is an excellent resource for you during your pregnancy. When questions arise, you can reach out to her for answers, and she can encourage you when to seek out your health care provider.
- When things come up during labor that you may need clarification on, she’s there to explain things or help you ask the questions you need to in order to fully understand what’s going on.
- After you get home, she’ll visit with you and provide information for getting healing and bonding off to a great start.
- During your pregnancy, you are literally on an emotional roller coaster. Whether this is your first or fifth, you will be experiencing emotions you’ve never had before. She’s there to talk with you as you process through your thoughts, fears, anxieties, joys and excitement.
- During labor, she provides continuous support. Your hospital staff is excellent, but they have many tasks to do and multiple patients at a time. This means they will be there to answer your call and tend to your needs, but it will be intermittent. The nurses will be in and out, and the doctor will likely not join you until nearing the end, but your doula doesn’t leave your side.
- After the birth, she’s there to encourage you as you gain confidence in your parenting.
- You may have decided on the epidural before you get to the hospital, or you may be interested in laboring without medication for a bit first. You may save it as a tool to use only if labor gets to a certain intensity for you. In any case, you likely will have some period of time that you are laboring without an epidural. A doula can provide comfort techniques during that time. She can help you stay focused in your breathing, reminding you to take one contraction at a time.