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!

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3 comments:

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.