So Really, Get an Epidural...But, Wait...Really?!
My best friend sent me this article today, "Get the Epidural"- one that has been making its away across the virtual birth world like wildfire. I responded to her with the following and upon her suggestion, I share it here with you now! I support, encourage and value open and honest discourse regarding almost ANY subject, and I have to be frank and say that I highly disliked this particular article. Jessi Klein makes the age old assumption that childbirth is painful and that all women experience birth the same way. In sincerity, I am so glad that an epidural worked for her and she had the birth she hoped for- ultimately, thats what's matters! But there are numerous health risks associated with epidurals, along with plenty of other physical and emotional reasons women choose to have/not have one. If men were routinely encouraged to use drugs to avoid feeling their bodies work hard at things and the babies in them were at risk of drug-related harm there would certainly be a new system of birthing- let alone newer and safer drugs. I have no vendetta against epidurals- I GOT ONE MYSELF! (Feel free to read more about my birth and postpartum experience here) However, I would not feel comfortable suggesting to any woman to get an epidural off the bat like this author does and I think the article steals something from women who haven't yet experienced childbirth. It feels like a scare tactic. Klein compares "natural childbirth" to a root canal or vasectomy. Believe it or not, birth can feel GOOD! (Feel free to read more about Orgasmic Birth here) Childbirth can be difficult and tiresome. Emotionally and/or physically trying. For some, the most challenging task they've had to date. And for some (or many) it can feel painful at times. But it's so many things, sometimes all at once. This article outlines a very linear view of the birth experience. I feel it's important as women to be honest about childbirth- and in this case honesty may mean taking the time to mindfully reflect on the multitude of feelings, sensations and emotions associated with their birth experience in order to share a more truthful, authentic experience with others. Together we can change mainstream myths about childbirth and allow each woman to experience her birth as she feels it. Without fear mongering, without pressure to feel ecstasy or chilling pain. Without judgment. As a Doula, I whole heartedly support whatever my client wants without a doubt. (Within reason and medical safety) My job is judgment-free support and I do it genuinely and with pleasure. Epidural? Yes! Non-medicated? Yes! VBAC? Yes! Not sure yet? Let's talk options! I'm all about options! With all that said, just as the article states flat out "so really, get the epidural", I'm NOT saying "don't get the epidural"! I'm simply urging you to consider that your birth experience is unique to YOU. Consider that childbirth may not be the most painful experience of your life. Consider that you have options. Thank you Jesse Klein for creating yet another platform to open a discussion for women to consider the options they have for a childbirth experience that speaks to them. And, thank you Erika, for encouraging me to share my thoughts. With love, Rising Moon Doula
#hudsonvalleydoula #coldspringdoula #garrisondoula #duchesscountydoula #epidural #childbirth #VBAC #beacondoula #naturalbirth