A doula’s life is pretty action packed. It’s full of emotions and hormones, physical exertion and sleep deprivation, skill and mental preparation. But what happens after a doula goes home? How does a doula recuperate, nourish her soul and take care of herself…. It’s a skill that takes time and seasoned doulas are much better at this aspect of the job description. So how does a doula bounce back after a birth so she can best support her next client?
Coffee- For me a good cup of coffee after a sleep makes me feel better. I have to make sure it’s not a sugar filled syrup-y drink or I surely will sugar crash later.
Spending time outside. Part of nourishing you soul is spending time outside. Breathing in fresh air, getting a little vitamin D, feeling the wind or sun on your face is all part of taking care of yourself.
Spend some time with your friends either in person or on the phone. Remember the world is more than birth. A challenge for birth workers is only spending time with other birth workers and only talking birth. While chatting about birth is something that doulas are really interested in its not healthy to ONLY talk birth. Call a friend and ask about her kids, chat about the weather, current events or a new recipe… Heck, invite your friend to go on a walk, meet for coffee or come over. Anything that encourages you to stretch you mind.
Water, lots and lots of water.
Relax. After I’m finished at a birth I like to come home, plug in my diffuser and smell a scent that makes me feel good. The scent is often changing, but this has became part of my post birth routine.
Lastly, visit your client postpartum. Talk about the birth, help with breastfeeding, share some postpartum baby advice and connect with the family you spend many many hours supporting. Closure is so important.