May 18, 2016
If you are a doula, you know what a Birth Hangover is! You have had a few or more in your career. You wake up after attending a long birth and feel as if you had been out all night partying, drinking or running a marathon. You are tired from being up all night, you are sore from getting mom massages and supporting her as gets through countless contractions. You are hungry because you didn’t take breaks to eat because your client needed your support and encouragement to make it to the final line and deliver her baby.
After a long birth, I have found a few things that help me so much and wanted to share them with newer doulas, student doulas and ladies thinking about becoming a doula in the future. Taking care of yourself is key to sustainability in this profession. YOU MUST TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Here is a list of thing I personally do to handle my birth hangover and unwind after a long birth.
1. Relax in the hot tub or take a hot bath. I am lucky enough to have a hot tub at my home but a hot bath does the same to relax the sore muscles and help you de-stress.
2. Eat a great meal with friends or family, preferably one you didn’t have to cook.
3. Coloring is a great way to relax. I have several adult coloring books that I use and always recommend by client color during their pregnancy as well.
4. Go for a massage! You have just given your client many massages and now it is your turn to get one!
5. Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure, its relaxing and you’ll look great when you are done!
6. Blog or write in a birth log about the birth, sit someone quiet where you can reflect and remember everything.
7. Take a staycation! Doulas are always on call, so a staycation is the best way to take a break, but still be accessible to clients if they need you. If you live in South Florida, I suggest going to Ft. Lauderdale beach.
8. Sleep!! This will usually be the first thing you will do after a long birth, but sometimes it isn’t possible. Make sure to take a nap and go to be early if possible.
9. Talk to other doulas. Sometimes its great to talk to someone who understands what you are going through. Friends and family might not fully understand what it’s like to be a doula, but other doulas definitely do and are great to talk to.
10. Give yourself a pat on the back! You helped another women become a mother and witness the miracle of life! You were strong and you supported your client and gave everything you had to help her achieve her birth goals.
This blog written by Lisa Raynor , a childbirth and postpartum doula in Coral Springs, FL. She is also a mom of three boys, a wife, and loves to blog about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum care and breastfeeding. Lisa attends births throughout Broward County and Boca Raton. Call for a FREE consultation today! 954-914-3933