Quote from Harlean
I think the original intention of advanced technology was to free up more time for the basic care laboring patients need. Unfortunately it has simply made their care more labor intensive (pardon the pun).
My understanding was that the technology was offered not to help with basic care of laboring patients, but to increase "safety". It has done neither, and has, if anything, reduced the amount of hands on nursing that laboring mothers so desperately need. The technology that many low risk laboring women are subjected to not only do not increase safety, but increase risk, unfortunately.
I would like to correct the misconception among some nurses that doulas only work with women who desire natural birth, and that we see natural birth as the only viable option. This is incorrect. Doulas attend a wide variety of births, from planned c-sections to home births and everything in between. I've had plenty of clients who chose medication. As long as there is informed consent, along with good labor support, we're there to simply help the mother and her family in the birth process.
Now, having read research study after research study, it is not difficult to understand why so many doulas prefer low-intervention births for the low-risk mother. It's simply SAFER not to have unnecessary interventions such as mandatory IV's with no thought to patient hydration levels, continuous fetal monitoring, etc etc. Birth can be notoriously unpredictable, yes. But you can also stack the odds against a woman having a safe birth if you load her up with every intervention in the name of "safety" and prevention.
And I want to mention something else about doulas and epidurals. Penny Simkin, a very famous doula and physical therapist, has often argued that a woman who has an epidural needs MORE doula care, not less, simply because she needs to be reminded to connect emotionally and physically with her labor. She has written some very interesting articles on that subject.