Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Doulas, How Do You Practice Self-Care?

When I meet with new moms either in private counseling sessions or support groups, I am a compassionate listener -- but I will be a harpy nag about one thing: self-care. It could be 15 minutes of reading People Magazine while the baby naps or keeping a jar of luxurious foot cream by the bedside table - whatever it is, I require them to care for themselves in some small way.

I've just returned from a birth, the first one I've attended since my extended pregnancy and maternity leave. It was a beautiful, satisfying birth for all involved, and I'm trying to decide what to do for myself today as a treat.

So, doulas, in the aftermath of a birth, when you've given nurturing care for hours, what do you like to do to care for yourselves? Please share, so that more doulas can take good care of themselves!



Joyce said...

What do I do to treat myself: Chocolate covered macadamia nuts (CVS brand is just fine, though Trader Joe's is great) on the way home from a good birth! Then sleep, even if it's just a short 30 minute nap but 2 hours is great and a full 5 hours is luxurious. Finally, as crazy as this sounds, I love getting back into the swing of my life by doing the dishes, laundry, hanging with my kiddos and, my must-have, going to the gym for an hour. A perfect day is a good birth, chocolate, sleep, family and workout!

Tara Kenny said...

I try to get regular massages and acupuncture (where I usually bring my pager too). I also exercise regularly and practice yoga. All of this is a great release and refuels me:)

Cate said...

There are two ways I think of taking care of myself. One is taking care of myself after a birth and sleep is a huge part of the recovery for me. If I have been up all night I give myself the next day to do nothing, and then try to give myself a bit more down time the next few days. Getting a massage is also something I try to do for myself every few months. The second way I think about taking care of myself is the day in and day out routine. I try to keep my routine as best I can with going to pilates and yoga every week, eating well, cooking meals at home with my family. It can be easy to schedule every night with clients, but I have found that I get run down so quickly. I am more available to give to others if I protect the time I need for exercise and being home to eat good meals.