That is the question
Our ancestors didn’t have a choice about medication in labor. There was no technology to help them if they wanted or needed it. However, they did live more active lifestyles, which may have decreased the need for help. Also, perhaps birth was considered a normal part of life instead of something to fear, lessening the want for help.
We believe that, in general, birth with minimal interventions - pain medication or otherwise - is safest for a healthy, low-risk mother and baby.
We have seen epidurals used to great benefit, and we are grateful for the technology.
We also feel that epidurals are overused in our society. They carry inherent risks to both mother and baby that should not be taken lightly. Many times, education and other means of support would serve families better.
So that’s what we do. Educate and support.
When a mother is well supported in the process of giving birth, it helps her to relax and avoid unnecessary pain.
Please note that the above are general statements - it is possible for well educated and/or well supported mothers to experience excruciating pain in labor, and in those cases, an epidural might just be the best tool for the job; despite what society tells us, this situation is the exception, not the rule.
If a mother would like a natural birth or if she opts to have an epidural, our job is the same. We support. We trust that mothers make the best decisions for themselves and their babies.
Melissa and Ellen are birth doulas, childbirth educators, placenta encapsulation specialists, and Parent Effectiveness Training instructors serving the Denver, CO area. They are passionate about pregnancy, birth, baby care, and parenting. They bring over twenty years of combined experience to their premium childbirth classes, doula support, parenting classes, and placenta encapsulation services in the metro Denver area.