Doulas and Epidurals: Are They Compatible?

Doulas and Epidurals: Are They Compatible?
"I don't need a doula, because I'm getting an epidural! In fact, I may ask for one as soon as I walk off the elevator!"
"What would a doula even do once an epidural is in place?"
"I don't want a natural birth. Aren't doulas a know...hippy? Aren't they all about no drugs at all?"

I'm pretty sure that every doula has heard some variety of the above. There are many different misconceptions about doulas. For instance, I'm pretty sure there's a certain percentage of the population that thinks we all smell like patchouli and throw essential oils all over the room when women are laboring. Others combine our job description with that of a midwife's. And, of course, others think that the only reason someone would hire a doula would be to help with a completely drug-free, "natural" birth at home or in a hospital.

Here's the secret: a few doulas smell like patchouli (because they love patchouli perfume), no one throws essential oils anywhere, and women who want "natural" births hire us....and women who want the most textbook, medicated births hire us as well. Essentially, there's a doula for everyone.

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