medicated birth, epidural, induction, elective cesarean, doula

Epidural, Induction, Cesarean- Oh My!

Many women are under the mistaken impression that having an epidural, induction, or cesarean means they won’t benefit from a doula. Not true!

A doula offers mental, emotional, physical, and educational support. She brings knowledge and experience to the table that can help the woman and her partner transition from birth to parenthood regardless of the path taken.


An epidural is a nerve blocker. It prevents sensation in nerves. As such, a woman with an epidural loses sensation in her lower extremities. While this blocks out pain, it can also cause the woman to disconnect from the labor itself. She cannot feel contractions therefore she no longer connects to the fact her body is in labor. This can inhibit the flow of the hormones needed for bonding post birth. A doula can help keep a woman grounded in the process; thus, allowing bonding to take place more easily.

In addition, a doula knows various positions and movement options that are safe with an epidural. She can help the woman move and shift in and out of these positions. This allows her to work with her body to help get her baby out more easily.

After birth, baby may be drowsy from the epidural. A doula can help facilitate bonding and breastfeeding. She can also educate the new parents on what the recovery process looks like for both woman and baby.


An induction can be a long, arduous process. It can take hours and, often times, days. This can lead to frustration and exhaustion for both the laboring woman and her partner. Having someone to lean on emotionally can be a huge benefit.

Once Pitocin has been increased, the contractions can become intense and painful. A doula can offer pain management techniques, emotional, and mental support. She can also guide the woman through various positions to help move her baby down and out.


Preparation prior to going back for surgery can be a stressful time. A doula can help you air out your concerns and ease your mind.

In some hospitals, a doula can go into the OR with you. She can give you a play-by-play and stay with you or go with your baby as they clean him up to present to you. Her presence ensures you are never left alone.

In instances where the surgery is complicated and your partner has to wait in recovery, a doula can be mental and emotional support for them. She can help support and guide them as they hold their newborn for the first time.

A doula can be a wonderful support postpartum as recovery often comes with its own struggles. Her knowledge and expertise can make recovery and transition much smoother. She can help facilitate bonding with your newborn while taking care of basic household needs.

Are you planning on having a medicated birth? You can still benefit from a doula! Contact us today to set up a complimentary consultation.

About the Author

Christine Santos

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Owner of Sun State Doulas, Christine is passionate about pregnancy, birth, and parenting issues that affect mainstream families. She is mother to 3 girls and is an active member of the roller derby community. Her favorite quote is, “Not my body, not my baby, not my birth, not my choice.”

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