Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Epidurals at the Door
With an over 95% epidural rate in the area I'm currently living in, most people seem shocked at the idea of taking natural childbirth classes. Obviously, childbirth is about pain, and you want to do everything you can to get rid of that pain!
But here's the cold, hard truth, ladies. An epidural is not a guaranteed thing! Sometimes you have a quick labor. Sometimes something holds you up from getting to the hospital early enough on in labor. Sometimes the anesthesiologist is being utlized for someone else's emergency situation. Just because you sign up for an epidural birth does not mean that you will get one!
So, what happens to a woman who is in labor and finds out that the one basket she has put all her eggs in has crashed to the floor? Every labor has to start sometime, somewhere, and I'm pretty sure most will not be in a hospital room with a catheter already in the back. You will have to cope with contractions at some point.
A woman who knows how the body works and how to work with it is a woman who will experience a lot less anxiety, a lot less panic, and a lot less fear about getting to the hospital in time.
Attending childbirth classes that go over plenty of useful pain coping techniques is essential to every pregnant woman. I've had women who have taken my natural childbirth classes who have ended up on pitocin, had an epidural, gone through a cesarean birth, and every single one has come back to tell me that relaxation techniques were vital to their labor, no matter how it turned out.
Learning how to relax, how to calm down the mind, how to create a setting of safety, how to deal with pain - these are all techniques that are useful in various birthing situations as well as situations outside of the labor room! These are life skills!