Originally posted April 2012:
So you’re anticipating a busy month as far as your doula work – whether that’s two births or ten, you know it’s coming and you want to prepare!
I just asked on my local doula board (154 members and counting!) and these were some of the brilliant ideas shared. As I know my May is going to be wild, I’m doing my prep work now!
* Be careful about your commitments – don’t over schedule yourself! It’s not fair to your birthing moms, your family, or you.
* When you go on call then it’s time to really take care of yourself. Put your kids to bed and start your own nighttime routine – stock up on that sleep!
* Be diligent about eating well (protein, fruits & veggies, low sugar) and taking any vitamins/supplements. At the births your not going to have time to focus on your own nutrition as much, so take care of yourself now!
* Prepare your home – catch up on laundry (haha!) and scrub that bathroom, change those sheets. Whatever helps you feel that your home can hold on while you’re gone.
* Consider what meals your family will need while you’re gone. My husband is a fantastic chef, but I like to make sure we have at least a few quick and easy meals he can toss into the oven and some easy breakfast ideas. We also do a shopping trip to stock up on lots of fresh produce and perishables and get some bread baked.
* Check in with your back up doulas to verify their availability and for emotional support! You need someone you can contact for an boost when you’re in the midst of a long labor and feeling tired yourself. They can encourage you so you can better encourage your laboring mom!
* Keep your car full of gas and tuned up, you don’t want to miss a birth because you stopped for gas or had car troubles.
* Exercise – take at least a walk daily to build your own stamina.
* Either see your chiropractor & massage therapist NOW or schedule visits for after your busy period.
* Check that your bag is packed, to include lots of healthy snacks for yourself.
* Clear your schedule of any non-essential commitments. If you know you’re going to be gone a lot for births then you need an open schedule, and extra appointments right now will add stress.
* Plan some fun activities with your kids that can be done any day (or if it’s specific to a day, don’t tell your kids – a last minute cancel for a much anticipated event is not fun for them or you!) When you’re not at a birth then head to the park or library, visit the lake, stop for ice cream. Make sure your children get lots and lots of face time and cuddles with you!
* Plan some simple date ideas for those evenings you are home. Get the kids to bed and cuddle up with your husband for a good movie, some take out dinner, a foot rub, or an early bedtime!
* Take care of yourself – whatever that means for you. Meditation, prayer, a long bath, a talk with a friend, some time to decompress after a long birth, a good nap! You cannot serve others well when you’re depleted yourself.
What tips would you suggest, wise doulas??