Published Date: 02/19/19
My experience with an epidural and a Doula
After finding out I was pregnant, I went out and bought “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” as I thought I should read up on, well, what to expect. I read three pages and returned it to Barnes & Nobles with some questioning looks. I just couldn’t get on board with a book that said to replace chocolate chip cookies with Fig Newtons as a healthy alternative. Let’s put aside that Fig Newtons aren’t exactly healthy. If I want a cookie, I’m going to eat a damn cookie. After that, I swore off pregnancy books.
Seven months pregnant and knowing literally nothing more about delivery or taking care of a baby than I had while doing a whisky shot in Chicago the day before I found out I was going to be a mom, my friend recommended I hire a Doula. She said that if nothing else, it was someone else to have at the hospital (no home birth for me) to stay in the room if my husband wanted to grab some food or needed to use the bathroom. Someone to take some pics. With no family nearby, it seemed like a good option.
So, I took my friend’s advice and found a Doula. I gave birth after 47 hours and 32 minutes of labor, 12 minutes of delivery, and an epidural at the 31-hour mark. I don’t think anything truly prepares you for labor and delivery, but I was infinitely more prepared having met with my Doula several times, and having her support was invaluable.
Gabby Jones, Birth and Postpartum Doula and Postpartum Placenta Specialist, gives more insight into a Doula's role regardless of the desired birth experience.
One Doula's Take
Let me start by saying that although home births and hippies are AMAZING, that is not the only birth choice Doulas support.
The role of a Doula is to support a client’s chosen birth and postpartum choices and to give them physical and emotional support throughout their journey. A lot of times, this means their minds change halfway through their labor.
And here’s the important part, Doulas are supposed to support a client in a judgement free manner; no matter their decision.
A planned epidural birth is just as valid as a birthing person that chooses to go through labor without an epidural. Same goes for planned cesarean births.
As Doulas, it’s not our job to judge clients for the birth they chose or need to have. Our job is to support them and their partner fully so they can remember the birth of their child in a positive light. It is also incredibly important that the client feel heard and respected during the birth of their child/children.
My point is, Doulas are for all types of births. There is a misconception that Doulas ONLY help with an unmedicated, natural birth at home or at a birth center attended by a midwife. This misconception is so far from the reality of Doula work.
Doulas help in all birthing scenarios. Doulas are there solely for the support of the birthing person and their partner.
We are food runners, nap reminders, break givers, space holders, information centers, connectors between birthing person, partner and their medical team, double hip squeezers, expert listeners and hand holders and so so much more.
If you’re on the fence about hiring a Doula, please reach out! I’d love to chat with you and share how I can support you.
About the Authors
Stacey Grumet is the Founder and CEO of Paper Pinecone. She lives in Los Angeles with her perfectly adequate husband and precocious 3.5-year-old, as of this writing. Every day she strives to be the world's most okay mom.
Gabby Jones is birth and postpartum doula and postpartum placenta specialist in the Seattle area. She has helped countless women achieve the birth experience they want and continues to provide postpartum support to families.
Paper Pinecone is a comprehensive directory of preschool, daycare, and before and after school programs. We give you the tools you need to make your childcare search easier.