*The term epidural is often short for epidural anesthesia, a form of regional anesthesia involving injection of drugs through a catheter placed into the epidural space. The injection can cause both a loss of sensation (anaesthesia) and a loss of pain (analgesia), by blocking the transmission of signals through nerves in or near the spinal cord.


Risks and common side effects of the epidural include:

1. Back pain at the site of injection. 100% of women experience localized tenderness. 10 -12% have back pain for up to three months post Birth. (However, it may last longer if their was a previous history of back issues.)

2.Maternal, and in turn baby, fever due to suppressed immune system.(Caused by the medication being administered via an open path directly to the spinal cord and the fact that most anesthetics are an immune suppressor, giving your body limited availability of healing white blood cells).

3.If develops fever, infant will spend more time in intensive care under observation. Which means: less bonding time, less skin to skin contact, more stress on breast feeding and returning to normality.

4. Incomplete pain relief- Epidural is subject to gravity, administering the medication through path of least resistance, causing random numbness with pain hot spots. Can affect only one side of body. ( Which in turn calls for more medication, increasing the usage and dosage, slowing the labor by increasing lack of feeling and an increase or lack of being able to ‘push’ with the rushes.)

5. Spinal Headache (1% of women get them)

Too often a woman with a normal delivery, is interrupted for the needs of the medical staff in a hospital.  They are woken from much needed naps for a blood pressure that could have waited, or woken, or roused from a deep meditative state in their labor to have their cervix checked to see if she is “progressing”, when the movement is obvious on her belly.

I’m trying to get a good figure for how much a woman really wants to be bothered.

1. They are not accurate.-many nurses have openly told me how often they fail and give false positive tracings.

2. Takes freedom away from mom’s movement in turn slows down the labor process.
3. Medical staff become too dependent upon it and look for clinical problems when there are none.

4. Constant sound of fetal heart beat- labor can last 4-48 hrs. Babies heart beats 145 times a minute. Imagine 145 beats a minute for 18 hrs next to your head. (Unless you like things that go “PING”)

5. Causes false alarms
6. Use of fetal monitor leads to other interventions.- Epidural because loss of free movement and bed restriction increases pain.
7. Detracts from the momentum of birth if a ‘ drop in heart rate is heard’ 12 people come into the room to find that monitor slipped out of place.
8. Loss of independence and makes mothers feel ‘ trapped and weak”
9. Belly binding for monitors itchy.
10. Increases stress in labor all around.

*Numerous studies have shown that the fetal monitor does not increase the safety of fetus or mother, in fact the clinical use of the monitor increases the likely hood of unnecessary intervention.

MY COMMENTS: The pharmaceutical companies are JUST as much to blame as the governments.

My favorite lunch is a recipe  from one of my favorite coffee shops.

The Gypsy Cafe in Seattle.

Now I took the essence of their sandwich and changed this to mine.

Its a cucumber sandwich that is 90 %  vegan and it has passed my carnivorous partners taste bud test!


1/2 organic cucumber

To Futi- Cream Cheese

( you can get this at Trader Joe’s)



Dave’s killer 21 grain bread ( my favorite)

Fresh Romaine lettuce

Bell peppers


Sun dried tomatoes, vinegar, salt and pepper.


1-brownie/ chocolate chip cookie.

1 serving of Trader Joe’s* salt and pepper chips.

DIRECTIONS: Toast bread until slightly crunchy. If you don’t have a toaster, put bread in the oven on broil. WATCH it until golden brown.

Slather one sighed with the ToFutii Cream Cheese, the other with choice of mayo and mustard.

Slap some lettuce on the mustard side.

peel your cucumbers, cut them in long strips, place on side with Tofutii. Add salt pepper, and vinegar. Put humus on cucumbers, close sandwich and slice in half. Bell peppers can be eaten on the side or out them on the sandwich.


1 sandwich apple and cookie serves on Doc. 🙂

NOTE: I am not paid nor am I sponsored by trader Joes or affiliates. I just LOVE their store. They don’t sell food with MSG, its natural, fresh and competitively priced. So I have to rave about something I love. Now if some one form Trader Joe’s wants me to shamelessly plug their company for a fee I’ll do that too! The more income I have, the more time I can do pro-bono births and help women who can’t afford a Doula alone!

Babies need three basic things. Warmth, milk, and security.

Warmth comes from a mothers embrace,being held, lifted and cooed. Milk too comes from the mother, and when natural birth is allowed, will flow regularly and with plenty. Security comes from the infant being held, drawn close when they cry.

Unfortunately in our society today there is a movement among parents and their educators to ‘leave the child, and let them cry-it-out.’ These same parents who let their wee ones cry it out, are also setting brand new infants to rigorous Q 4 hour feeding schedule. Or not breast feeding at all, and supplementing milk for convenience.

These infants  are denied their feeding cues, and put on a schedule, and left in cribs, cradles, baskets and car seats. Alone away from the family to cry…

Babies cry for one reason!

They NEED something! They have needs. Babies are not manipulative, they aren’t trying to control you ( as some articles in several publications would suggest) They are truly helpless and with out a parent or another human being ( in some cases wolves) seeing to their cries and needs. They would soon starve and die.

But we’re killing our infants through alack of self parent responsibility. Parents spend too much time focusing on one technique, they miss the big picture.

One can’t  expect a new infant to care for themselves, so we must be there for each whim. That is the job of the a parent!

With out this love, warmth, nourishment and security our children will not thrive or grow as human beings.

I am a huge advocate for breast feeding. ITS FREE!

I want parents to pick up their children, to wear their children!

There is hard scientific data that shows when infants are breast fed, held and loved often they are healthier, have better immune systems. Better brain function, and better self esteem and are generally more curious about the world.

Aren’t these the children we want standing in stewardship of the plant in 30 years? healthy, smart free thinking individuals?

I know that I do!

On a cool gray day, on the 28th day of October in the Common era 1997, I swore an oath before my fellow sailors, on the blood of my ancestors, and the soul of doing what was always right, and the best for the most. I swore with hand raised:

I solemnly pledge myself before these witnesses to practice faithfully all of my duties as a member of the Hospital Corps.

I hold the care of the sick and injured to be a sacred trust and will assist the medical officer with loyalty and honesty.

I will not KNOWINGLY permit harm to come to any patient.

I will not partake of nor administer any unauthorized medication.

I will hold personal matters pertaining to the private lives of patients in STRICT confidence.

I dedicate my HEART, MIND, and STRENGTH to the work before me.

I shall do ALL within MY power to show in MYSELF an example of all that is HONORABLE and GOOD through out my naval Career.


According to recent studies, some hospitals through out our country have over a 65% C-Section rate with up over 80-85% in Epidurals.

The Epidural and the oxitocin is the fastest way to a C-Section.  Once the interventions start…its a landslide to the operation table from there.

Check out:

The biggest reason I became a Doula was to educate, and help the Mothers of my community make better wiser, more educated choices about their birth options, and to help avoid the dangerous  slide to the C- Section.

Cesarean sections are DANGEROUS major abdominal surgery that can lead to massive complications.

When I was working for the ‘Medical man” I met hundreds upon hundreds of women every year. Nearly 90 out of 100 of them had had the C-Section. only three of the women had the Section do to a true medical emergency. Nearly 50% of the 90 % that had C-Sections had developed some sort of complication, scaring or infection.

Scars not healing, sutures coming undone. My favorite: They found in one of our patients :A 4×4 Gauze pad left in her abdomen. (She found this after I told her to get a second opinion form another surgeon)

I’m not surgical bias, not at all. But there is something serious unhealthy going on, what disease has burrowed in to the bones of our medical community, where convenience, policy and insurance payout dictate safe practice!

I swore an oath on October 28, 1997  to protect my patients from harm, and that includes unnecessary surgeries!

Get Educated. Get PUSHED by Jennifer Block.