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Epidurals…what you should know before you sign

  • Posted on July 17, 2017 at 3:14 pm

I have always told the moms I serve, “There is a time and a place for all the technology we use surrounding birth, but the misuse, or overuse of that technology is damaging.”

As a midwife and a doula, I have walked countless moms through labor, both at home and in the hospital.  I support natural childbirth wholeheartedly but even with that as my background, I have encouraged several moms to get epidurals.  I inwardly cringe when I hear random moms say things like, “Natural childbirth…NO WAY!!! I want my epidural in the parking lot” because they are generally not well informed about the real risks involved and not prepared to meet labor head on as they will have to do for sometime, at least until the anesthesiologist is available.

The well-placed and appropriately used epidural brings a peaceful birth to some moms who have worked hard for hours and are simply mentally and physically exhausted. It is a useful tool to help control climbing blood pressure with fewer lasting side effects than magnesium. It can be used to relax pelvis muscles that are just holding baby in.

I think like all things, it comes down to a risk/benefit analysis. I think it is important to recognize all the real risks involved, preferably before you are in labor, while you are still able to make a rational decision. It is equally important not to inflate the risks and be overly fearful in the event that the benefits do outweigh the risks. The author of this well-written article sums it all up very well.

Questions to ask a prospective midwife

  • Posted on January 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm

I read this recently and thought it was very good.  Most lists of questions to ask rely on more concrete information which isn’t what is usually at the crux of midwifery.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it is important to know your midwife’s level of training and experience, but it is also important that you feel a good connection with your midwife.  You are inviting this person into your most intimate moment.  Take some time to choose your care provider, interview several…listen to your intution and follow your gut instincts.

Joint Commission Report on Reducing C-Sections

  • Posted on December 12, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Breaking news… Starting in 2014, U.S. hospitals with more than 1,100 births per year will be required to show a decrease in the first-time mom C-section rate in order to stay accredited and stay in business. Eventually this will be expanded to include smaller hospitals, too!

Read the full report here: