Friday, October 12, 2012

Lessons Learned

I had the great experience to attend a birth with a fellow doula. It was great to see things from a new perspective. I have only my own limited experience to draw from so it was nice to see how other doulas care for their clients. It was a very long day. I was awake for almost 24 hours. I have never been the type to stay up late and I found that I am really not good at it.

Here are some things that I learned:
  1. Always have snacks 
  2. Adrenaline is awesome but carries a large whammy afterward. 
  3. People are always watching to see how/what you are doing
  4. Never underestimate the power of small things 
  5. You are not just caring for mom, but dad as well 
The miracle of birth humbles me every time, no matter the place or circumstance. Being a part of that moment when families are created or expanded is breathtaking.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What is in YOUR Bag?

The bag of tools and tricks. The DOULA bag. As a new doula, the idea of a bag seemed kind of intimidating. What if I needed something that I didn't have? What should I put in it? Etc...  These are the questions that began plaguing me shortly after I confirmed with my first client. I researched and found a TON of great ideas, which would probably weigh about that much if you had some of everything. I decided that I couldn't have everything and made my decisions on what felt right for me.

I am the doula, I have the training and knowledge in my head that is the real key to assisting in the birthing process, so the things in my bag needed to reflect that.  Here are the contents of my bag.

I know that it is hard to see everything so I broke it up into smaller parts.

The contents of my toiletry kit. This stuff is just for me. So that I can still feel like a human being after 12+ hours of being awake. :) 

The Essentials
<------ My essential oils, fractionated coconut oil and medicine syringe; lotion and my helper book about oils in maternity care. This is a travel case I use for all - well a lot of the oils I use myself, so I just toss it in the bag so that I have what I need.

Volleyball Knee Pads

Basic first aid- just in case

Spray bottle- for misting

Extra batteries, phone charger adapter, Ipod and travel speaker/charger, birth ball pump and massage tool
I take my bag with me to interviews so that I can answer questions. so I keep several copies of my paperwork, (for my certification) as well as a notebook for notes, and a few additional resources.
I usually have snacks, but they got eaten and haven't been replaced. I like fruit snacks, Fiber One bars, honey sticks, and those dark chocolate pomegranate aryls from Costco.  But that is totally up to you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Certification as a doula through D.O.N.A. is not an easy process. There is a ton of reading to do, and the training workshops, and the classes and the paperwork and finding the first few births and getting all the evaluations back...

I am coming to the end of this process and I am still as happy and excited to be a doula as I was when the idea first occurred to me... probably even more so.   I get asked all the time to explain what a doula is and why I choose to be one. I honestly don't know how to explain except to say that the whole process resonates with my soul on a level that I have never felt before. I love helping people and knowing that I have made even the smallest difference in their lives. I appreciate the miracle of birth and it's ability to enlarge families as they welcome new members. It is not an easy process, there is a lot of waiting, and anticipation; there is also a lot of aspects that are just out of your control.

I have not experienced the full range of possibilities that is labor and delivery yet, but I look forward to every late night call, every determined grimace, and the brightness of each new little face as it enters the world.