Epidurals are not the bad guy, it’s in the how we use them that needs to change.
I am a home birth Midwife and in my world epidurals are demonized to the point of pregnant people refusing them when they might be the best solution for intense pain that leads to suffering and tightening of the abdominal/pelvic floor area that won’t let a baby out.
Interventions are not bad, it is how they are used that can be the problem.
I am against routine use of an epidural. I am against the projection that labor is long and painful universally for everyone. I am against the idea that pregnant people are not seen and heard as individuals with individual nerve endings, trauma histories and body shapes/sizes. I am against the idea that hospitals do not differentiate low risk from high risk pregnancies and do not teach how amazing the anatomical female body is and how to be supported and confident in the choice for an epidural. I am absolutely for an informed and empowered birthing person to choose an epidural, knowing it is the best path for them to be able to birth their baby safely (physically, mentally, spiritually) without feeling shame or pressure to do so.
An epidural is a medical procedure where medicine (a combination of numbing and dissociative drugs) is entered into the epidural space in the back. Depending on the cocktail combo you will either not be able to move at all, can get up to use the restroom or somewhere in between. Either way, when you get an epidural the vitals for you need to be checked frequently and for baby 24/7 which means you are now high risk and there is a higher chance of an emergency, hence a surgical room across the hall.
There are lots of choices that you can make and they are multilayered. It is your body and you have choice!”
-GraceFull Founder + Midwife, Elizabeth Bachner