There is a commonality in the profession of doula (professional birth and postpartum support) that stems from an enormous amount of compassion for a pregnant, birthing and new mom. Many stories of how one became a professional doula entail joy, excitement, sorrow and even anger. But, the reason we stay in this incredibly demanding job is because we understand the value of having someone provide a constant stream of physical, emotional and educational care during such major transitions in life.
Any woman who has given birth can tell you that the feeling of a squishy belly after several months of a taught firm belly feels a little weird. All of those months of your baby and uterus growing, your skin stretching, and your hips widening takes a toll on your body. Those first few days postpartum are something to get used to. We don’t have the same balance, as now we don’t have the extra weight pulling us forward. We don’t sleep in the same positions because now that baby isn’t in the way but we can’t go back to our pre pregnancy positions either because the uterus still needs to shrink down. Something we don’t often think about though is the baby, uterus, skin, and hips aren’t the only parts undergoing a transformation. The muscles are also equally affected. The great news is, belly binding can help!
We register for so many other things: wedding showers, baby showers - so why not register for a doula? Choosing to have a doula during your birth and the early postpartum period is truly a choice that cannot be quantified. Women who have had doulas report more satisfaction during their births and more confidence in their parenting. How can you really put a price tag on that? If you're willing to ask your friends and family to contribute to your crib, stroller, diapers, wipes and breast pump (which are all necessities to most of us), why wouldn't you ask them to contribute to the necessary luxury of having a compassionate and knowledgeable professional to support you during one of the most vulnerable and life-changing times in your life?
Not enough. Never enough.
I started drinking in as much birth education as I could right before and after my last child was born and attended my first birth less than 4 months after he was born in 2009. I didn't even know what a doula was until after he was born, but I immediately knew that I needed to become one and be able to tell women what it felt like to be empowered and confident when giving birth.
And then, the drive to receive all my initials began.
A CYCLING DOULA'S OBSERVATIONS FROM LIFE ON THE TRAIL
Last month, a major item was marked off my bucket list when I rode in the Louisiana MS 150. This is a two day, 150 mile bike ride that raises funds for Multiple Sclerosis. Preparing for this event required me to ride my bike ... a lot! I rode in the heat, I rode in the rain, I rode on trails and roads in towns in every direction around Tulsa. I met some amazing new people, saw some incredible wildlife (minus the tarantula somewhere in Bixby, OK!)
I have a small "farm" in Northeast Oklahoma where we raise rabbits, chickens, pigs, and sometimes a garden. Since I have started raising rabbits, I have noticed something very interesting. First time mama rabbits have about a 50-50 chance of losing their entire first litter when they are put in cages separately. Some mamas simply don't build their nest in time, some mamas build a nest but don't feed their babies, some mamas will step on the babies accidentally crushing them. But I have been reading a lot about a different method of rabbitry; colony style.
Every single list of suggested items for a baby registry includes it: a wipe warmer. In fact, it’s usually in the list of “Top Sellers” as well as “Top Recommended.” It’s just expensive enough that the typical new mother sees it as a luxury that she wouldn’t purchase on her own, but it’s elusive enough that she definitely wants it, and is thrilled if a friend or family member brings it to her baby shower.