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  • Writer's pictureArielle & Ashley

Epidural Is Not A Dirty Word

When a woman makes up her mind that she wants an epidural, she does not want it with a side of judgment or shame. She just wants relief and she wants it now. So many women are afraid to ask for the epidural, but why? Partially because the scare-culture surrounding much of the birth world. Are there risks surrounding epidurals? Of course. There are risks for everything. What is important is to weigh the risks and make a decision that you feel comfortable with.

For some women, the epidural is a means to rest and recharge but many women fear it may slow down their labor. In some cases where the woman is feeling exhausted and is tensing up her body in every contraction, I have actually seen it speed things up, which surprises many.

Even if you have given birth before, each birth is completely different and you may desire different things for each birth and you do not have to explain yourself to anyone.

Heather, a former doula client of Music City Doulas says “Before I got the epidural, all I could focus on was the pain of the contractions. The minute one ended, another began. Before that point, I could work through it and was able to focus on things you and Chase would say and could move with purpose. In my head, I knew something had shifted. I was beginning to suffer, not cope.” Heather struggled with the decision to get the epidural for some time before she finally told her husband and I that she wanted it.

“Both [my doula] and Chase kept repeating that whatever I needed was okay and that I shouldn’t be afraid to say what I needed and that [they] would support me and help me no matter what.” Heather recalls wondering how much longer she would be in labor and if she would be too exhausted to hold her baby and be present in the moment. She worried about being so tired that she wouldn’t have the strength to push. It was at that point that it clicked for her that what she needed to feel empowered in her birth, was to get the relief she needed so she could rest.

Now, 6 months after the birth of her son, Heather shares, “[The epidural] gave me the relief I needed to push. I was not ashamed at all! I was proud to have done what I did and to make the choices I did. I felt thankful I was surrounded by people who let me navigate my own birth and supported me lovingly in my choices.”

You are capable of making choices that are right for you and for your family. An epidural is just another tool in the bag for you to use if you want to. There is no shame in asking for what you need and our doulas are here to support you in whatever choices you make. You can also take a childbirth education class to learn more about the birthing options you have in the Nashville area.

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