While it's still a rare occurence, the possibility of death from spinal anethesia is a real and growing concern for women opting for this type of pain relief. What's even scarier is that many women don't realize it's even a risk.
The epidural is often touted as the "Cadillac" of pain relief, yet rarely does a woman in labor truly understand the risks.
What's more is that if the epidural is avoided during labor, the risk not only decreases, it ceases to exist. So we have to ask, is the pain of labor so truly unbearable that this is a risk worth taking or is it possible women can make it through labor with no need for pain medication and we just don't believe we can because we've been lied to?
This is why doula work is so close to my heart. If a woman can be supported through her birth and she remains comfortable and fear free, her need for pain medication is going to be very low to nonexistent.
I believe the greatest kept secret from women is the fact that labor isn't all that bad. Most women simply have no idea that labor can actually be estatic, even orgasmic. If women believed this was truly possible, who wouldn't want to sign up for that?