Something must keep drawing us back to the birthing space - clearly, the miracle of birth is fantastic, and being able to provide emotional support is extremely rewarding. I would also argue that OBs, midwives and doulas are adrenaline junkies. Just like those people who continue to seek higher and higher peaks to scale, we continue to seek experiences that get the heart pumping (as I tell my clients, labour is actually pretty boring until the end, but sometimes, you come up against a situation that leaves you reeling!)
And with all this adrenaline, lack of sleep and outpouring of support, there is little time and effort for something that is so important: self care.
I've learned this the hard way these past 9 months, and I'm ready to take more of an active role in the self care department. So here is an outline of some of the things I plan to (try) to do for myself, as I enter some of the busiest months of my career thus far:
1) I'm joining Andrea over at At Peek Inside the Fishbowl to do the "100 Club." A long, fast walk every day, and 40 jumping jacks, 30 crunches, 20 squats, 10 push-ups. Quick and simple!
2) My yoga 10-class pass is sitting unused in my wallet. Time to bust it out and attend a class each week. I am also committing to doing one other day of a quick yoga/meditation exercise.
3) Protein: people who stay up all night don't need more carbs. Carbs are great for an all-around healthy diet, but if that's what you're eating to keep you awake, you're in for an unpleasant surprise. Sugar crashes! Headaches! Nausea! I am committing to eat more protein.
4) Monthly massages. This is easy for me - no one needs to drag me to the massage table! (thanks Anna Belanger!)
5) Friends: they are my lifeline. I need to commit to working on friendships, so that I don't end up losing any. Phone calls, letters, emails and as many face-to-face dates as I can schedule.
Even when you're not a doula, self care is so important. What do you do to take care of yourself?