Have you heard of Birth Recovery Mode? As a birth doula, I sometimes get called into a birth in the wee hours of the morning. Like last night. I got the call at 3am that my client was needing additional support outside of her husband.
When someone goes to the hospital, a doula doesn’t always go immediately. Every labor process is different, so I educate and empower my clients to labor as long as they can safely before needing me to come. It’s beautiful to watch a woman phase into the motherhood role while in the delivery room.
I sometimes laugh when I take a look at my previous births and when I was called in — your girl here is OCD. Actually diagnosed by my physician. Of course the universe led me to a career that has zero predictability. What’s more? Add on postpartum care, too! It is hard to juggle the two, and this is an area where I need to find more balance. I am not a New Year’s Resolution gal, but this year I will be implementing some new daily practices and scheduled time off!
Since becoming a birth advocate and doula, I have attended labors ranging from 5 hour labors to 30+. I roll up to the hospital with my cooler ready to go. No need to be hangry, my friends. I nourish while I am there with jerkey, like @epic bars, @rxbars, @nuunhydration. In my cooler, you’ll find sliced apples with packs of @justins nut butter, hard boiled eggs and even a turkey sandwich. Told you, no need to be hangry. Being a doula is taxing on the body – but it the most rewarding way. You are bending and in wonky positions as you help a mom bring her baby into the world. You might be standing for hours on end or bent over hold legs while she pushes for hours.
That leads to BRM. For the longest time, I had no routine when I returned home from a birth. That led to sleeping the day or night away. Truly. I would sometimes wake up 12-15 hours later and not know what day it was. Felt like I had no energy and was entering a burnout stage. When doulas do not care for their own mind and body after being with a client, statistically they will leave the profession after 3 years. I noticed I was slipping into a mild depressive state and felt like I was losing control. I reached out to a fellow doula and she shared some really practical tips with me that I have made some additions to. I now do these steps below after each birth. I just finished this practice 15 minutes ago ☺
- Start the electric kettle for a cup of @yogi’s honey lavender tea
- Draw a bath with 1 cup of magnesium salts and @doterra lavender essential oil – no matter the time of day.
- Sip on tea in the bath with classical piano playing
- Full skin care routine, moisturize body and cook or reheat a healthy meal. Today that was 2 eggs, leftover roasted veggies and 2 slices of turkey bacon
- Journal and decompress the birth
- Write a to-do list of personal matters I need to handle
- Set an alarm for a 2 hour nap to find a more natural rhythm for the remaining hours of the day.
I know as a reader, you may be in a completely different line of work. I would love to know how you decompress!