10 Dirty Little Secrets Your Doctor Won't
Tell You About Epidurals
1. Will require
an IV to be inserted and a bag of fluids to be given prior to
receiving the epidural.
2. Will require the
blood pressure cuff to tighten on your arm every 15 minutes or
3. Will require a
urinary catheter because you will not be able to urinate.
4. May increase the
possibility of a vacuum or forceps delivery.
5. May increase the
possibility of an episiotomy because the forced fluids in the IV
may cause your perineum to become engorged and therefore not able
to stretch to allow the baby to be delivered easily.
6. If done too high may
cause you to feel as if you’re not able to breathe.
7. May slow down or
stall your contractions, especially if given before 5 cm dilation,
thereby requiring additional medical intervention (Pitocin).
8. Will deprive your
baby of your natural production of endorphins which help your baby
cope with the pain of the contractions.
9. May cause maternal
fever which can lead to hyperthermia and require additional medical
intervention, including neonatal NICU workup, such as a spinal tap.
10. May cause an
Some hospitals won’t allow you to have an epidural before you’re 5
cm dilated. Most won’t allow you to have one before you’re 3 cm
dilated. You could be in labor for many hours before you’re 3 cm
dilated! The good news is that your doula can help you cope with
the pain of labor until you get the epidural, if that is your
choice, or help you get through your entire labor, if you prefer to
avoid the epidural altogether.
The complete list of side effects of the epidural can be found
www.bestdoulas.com on the
Articles, Handouts & Information page.
Tracy Hartley of B*E*S*T Doula Service
provided us with this belly scoop idea to help keep our big bellies
informed. Tracy has been a birth doula for ten years and has
participated in more than 250 births. Call Tracy today at:
(877) I-Doula-U - toll free
(877) 436-8528 - cell phone
(818) 448-0817 - cell phone
(818) 543-2058 - pager
Tracy loves being a Belly Scooper and is the Vice President of DASC
(Doula Association of Southern California).