To Feel or Not to Feel: Introduction to the Epidural

I am thrilled to announce the beginning of my first series! This will be a monthly installment on all things epidural - the history, benefits, adverse effects, indirect adverse effects, when to use, what to expect when one is utilized, and anything else I can come up with.  

Before I launch this series, however, I want to stress that this is not a series advocating for or against the use of epidurals. I do, however, strongly believe that women and their partners should know all of the pros and cons of epidural use before consuming, and not receive one simply out of routine. That is the information I hope this series will convey.

I feel that, as with many things in life, we may have jumped on board the epidural boat too quickly and without enough regard for its repercussions. It seems that supporters of natural birth see many women who receive an epidural as mindless consumers, while women who go into their birth actively wanting an epidural see their counterparts as pointless martyrs.

Since the beginning of time, birth has been a pain-filled event. Women and babies have been suffering and dying in labor and birth for tens of thousands of years, so who can blame us for being so quick to embrace the idea of a pain-free childbirth while remaining alert and active in the labor? It sounds too good to be true.

And it is. So far, science has not discovered a completely pain-free, side-effect free way to birth. Choosing to use or not to use an epidural is a process of weighing and balancing your personal values, beliefs, desires and medical needs. It is my hope that this series will help women and their partners do just that.

What would you like to know about epidurals? Leave a comment or shoot me an email and I will try to answer all of your questions somewhere in the series!