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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 less.

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 allergic reaction.
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 at 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).


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