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7 ways to prepare yourself for the epidural shortage coming to Ontario

We were informed by a local OB that London is expecting the epidural shortage to begin in three weeks.

If you are nearing the end of your pregnancy, and are one of the 70% of people who hope to have an epidural, here are our best tips for you to prepare:

1: PRENATAL EDUCATION: I can’t say it enough. If you haven’t taken a class, NOW is the time. I’m not going when I say you NEED to understand labour, your hormones, and how to decrease pain…did you hear that? There are tools in your control that can help you with pain management in your labour. Mindset, Positions, Hormones, Lighting, Sound, WATER. The more you understand about all of this, the better prepared you will be.

2: HIRE A DOULA: If you can’t afford to have one in person, hire a virtual one. Or find a student. Hiring a doula is one of the BEST ways to not get to the hospital too early. Not getting to the hospital too early will greatly help with your pain plan. Its hard to stay home when it’s just you and your husband and you have no idea when the best time to go is. The experience of a doula helps you trust the process and that your baby isn’t going to fall out at home.

Doula’s are also a literal Coles notes of birth hacks to help you, and your partner get through a unmedicated delivery. This is our expertise. We understand birth, the body, and how to encourage your baby to move through you. There are studies done that just having a doula present at your birth improves your outcome.

3: Talk to your care provider about other options and what the risks and side effects of those options are. In the heat of the moment you will find it difficult to have those conversations so spend your time now learning.

4: Prepare your mindset. You CAN do this. We see it all the time. Listen to birth stories on podcasts, or pick up a book like “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”. Fill your mind with positive and strong stories of the people who have birthed before you.

5: Prepare your PARTNER. I’ve had a midwife say to me before that nobody attempting an unmedicated birth should skip the prenatal class, or skip hiring a doula. Your partner’s role will look much different when an epidural is off the table. There is a learning curve in this support. They need to be hands on, verbally supporting, making sure you are hydrated and loved on, all while taking care of themselves. Make sure if you are doing online education that your partner is checked in and present as well!

6: Boundary yourself against fear filled stories and conversation. Imagine building a fortress around yourself and not letting in stories about traumatic births, or anything of the sort. Even conversations like “Oh are you scared about the epidural shortage” can be responded to with a simple “ I’d rather not spend my time worrying about something out of my control”.

7: FOCUS on what is in your control: You can educate yourself. You can learn about other options. You can prepare your mindset. You can make a plan with your partner. You can book a coaching call with us, or take any of our online courses. You can make this a positive experience. We know you can do it.

Want to work with us?

If you’d like to book a coaching call to talk about planning to not have an epidural available please email us to book a time.

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