|Posted on November 2, 2015 at 2:30 PM|
Despite what you might have heard Doulas are not anti-epidural. In fact I love epidurals - in the right situation and used properly an epidural can be magical.
Here's where epidurals go bad: mom decides to have an epidural; she lays down in her hospital bed, plays cards, reads a book or watches a movie. She might get up to pee but let's face it, even a 'walking epidural' severely limits her mobility. Eventually it's announced that mom has dilated to 10 cm and it's time to push. But wait...mom is struggling to push her baby out and her doctor says baby is not in an ideal position. The vacuum or forceps are used or mom is sent for a cesarean for a 'stuck baby'.
So what happened, what went wrong?
A mom who labours without an epidural will find comfort in continual motion. Walking, swaying, dancing; all her movements are ideal to widen her pelvis and shimmy her baby into a perfect position for birth.
A mom who labours with an epidural will often lay down and stay that way until it's time to push. Her baby is still descending, but without mom's constant motion, can become lodged in an unideal position.
So what's a doula to do?
My first job is to help mom find her inner power so she can actively labor, uninhibited by medication, if that's her decision. But sometimes, in certain situations, the labour path changes and an epidural is a lovely option.
But how do we prevent more interventions now that mom has an epidural?
Introducing the peanut ball!!
This sweet little peanut can be used to position mom's hips to aid in her baby's perfect descent. By opening and widening mom's pelvis in different ways, baby is able to navigate into an ideal position. The use of a peanut ball can actually shorten the length of labour with an epidural because it enables progress.
So, while a mom with an epidural may find herself confined to her bed, more than is ideal, with the use of a peanut ball we can simulate the widening and opening of an unmediated 'labour dance'. Statistics show positive results regarding decreases in vacuum/forceps assisted birth and cesarean birth, when a peanut ball is used to counteract the restrictions of an epidural.
My peanut ball will be coming with me to all births in case of those special circumstances in labour when an epidural is needed. I'm very excited to provide new options for the labouring moms in Saskatoon and surrounding area.
Curious to know more? Contact me, I’d love to hear from you!