How getting an epidural is like making a poke cake

Doulas and epidurals are like peanut butter and chocolate.
I love them together.

This is part 3 of a series on epidurals. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Photo by Heather Barnes on Unsplash

This is part three of a series on epidurals. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

Do you like surprises? 

If they’re not your favorite, especially during labor and delivery, read on. 

One thing that has surprised some of my clients who have gotten epidurals is that once you get the epidural, you lay down flat on your back for a little while. This step of the process isn’t usually shown on tv (and it isn’t even discussed in the wikipedia article on epidural administration). But it is helpful to understand this step in order to understand what an epidural is like. And in this regard, it is just like a poke cake. 

Photo credit: ME. Friends, I could NOT find a picture of a poke cake with usage rights I was happy with on the internet. I made this dang cake solely to get THIS PICTURE. But gosh it was delicious so it would have been totally worth it even if I had forgotten to take the picture.

If you’ve never made a poke cake, let me tell you what it is and how to make it. It is a cake, poked several times with a dowel, then drizzled in gelatin or pudding and left to set before eating. But when you drizzle liquid on a cake, you wouldn’t want to tilt the cake; then more filling would end up on one side of the cake than the other! Instead, you make sure the cake is flat when you pour on the filling. 

Same thing with epidurals. Once the anesthesia has entered your body, it can help to make sure it spreads evenly to both sides of your body and all the way from your waist to your toes (that way you are less likely to have a hotspot where the medicine doesn’t reach). If you lie down just after getting the catheter placed, you can use gravity to help you with that even spreading.

If you’re now craving poke cake, check out this recipe. And if you’re now craving more info about (and fewer surprises when) getting an epidural, set up a birth planning consultation with me here

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