Most doulas have families, that is how they know the importance of birth and postpartum support, first hand! Many doulas spend much of the year on call for one birth or another, often during summer holidays or major winter holidays when they are torn, wanting to spend those days with their families and their own children. Births do not respect the holidays, babies come when they want to!
So what can a doula do to cope? Here are some coping strategies:
1. Pre-plan your holiday to happen without you. Get the food ready or close to ready, the presents wrapped and so forth as early as you can.
2. Have a plan for what happens if you are at a birth. Most often if a birth occurs during a major holiday, you don’t miss the entire day or you can celebrate the next day together.
3. If you are at a birth, have a plan to call your family to touch base with them. You don’t want your wishing to be home to take your attention away from the laboring mom, she knows you are missing your family, give them a call.
4. Leave as soon as you can and have a plan to touch base with your client the next day. You can help her with breastfeeding better after you have spent some time with your own family.
5. Prayers help! I often chant not to miss special occasions and I rarely do miss them. Prayer works. I also chant (pray) that the baby’s birth is joyous for her mom.
6. Worry does not help. Try to plan for what you can and not worry about what might happen. Mark Twain said: “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
Tags: Holiday on call