Hey, hey! It’s Day Two of World Doula Week! Here is day two’s blog post!
Labor is work. For some it’s brief, furious work. For others it’s slow, continuous work. For some it’s a calm work. For other’s it’s intense, and intentional work. You see what I’m saying, right? It can be glorious, it can be slow, it can be fast… but it’s still work. Even if you’re one of the crazy few who blink and then have their baby. Chances are, your body was doing work without you even knowing it.
One thing that more and more women are choosing to do to motivate themselves, be it in their career, relationships, or yes, even birthing, is to make inspiration boards. My office is full of them! Pictures of past clients over the years (I love getting updates!), words that are meaningful to me, or events that were game changers in my life. More and more I’m seeing women transpose this office idea into the labor room. Weather it be printed flash cards of words that make them feel most empowered, relaxed, and comforted, or a literal board with words written on it!
I’ll admit, I had this chalkboard on hand and just quickly drew spots to write encouraging words on. But it got the job done! So pick up a small chalkboard (or make one!) and write yours. Or print out your favorites and put them all together. I’ve even had clients laminate theirs so they could take them into the shower with them! Some even fill theirs with pictures instead of words! Whatever speaks to you, whatever encourages you to do whatever you need to do!
I have an exclusive Pinterest board devoted to this idea entirely: Labor Inspiration Board
- That we take the place of your Dr/Midwife. We will never diagnose you. Have a medical question? We’re going to calm your nerves with accurate information on your specific situation, followed by the words, “Call your Dr.” Want accurate statistics on something having to do with your pregnancy or your baby? We can get you those. Want a diagnosis on what you are going through? We’ll refer you to your primary care provider.
- That we know something we don’t. Don’t get me wrong, as doulas, we’re the culmination of education and research on all things pregnancy, labor and delivery, as well as local resources. So in a large sense, we do know everything about everything in the pregnancy and baby world. But we also want to make sure we are giving you accurate and up to date information. So if you ask us a question and we respond with, “I’m not sure, let me look into that and get back to you.” You can know that I want to make sure you get the best information, from the most reputable sources.
- If we don’t love your OB/DR/Midwife. While we often talk you through how to choose your care provider and things to look for/listen for, we can’t choose for you. And if you’ve already chosen one, our job is not to talk you out of working with your OB. We give you the tools/information you need to make decisions for yourself. Even if we know the particular OB has a habit of something you that may or may not like, you have already made your decision and our job is to support you and the decisions you make. End of story. (Plus if we are going to be working with them, letting anyone know of our feelings doesn’t do anyone any favors.)
- This isn’t “real” labor. Mom is 37 weeks and has an occasional contraction, or more frequent but short, and no regularity/pattern to them. I get an excited phone call asking “Is this the real thing?” The real answer is: Yes! And no. Labor is so hard to predict, that as your doula, I would be remiss to say definitively your labor is going to do any specific thing with any specific time frame. (But imagine my popularity if I could!) Often labor has lots of little bursts in the weeks leading up to delivery. But that doesn’t make it any less real. Whether your body is practicing, doing little bits at a time, or it quickly escalates into delivery, it’s all real.
- If you cussed, yelled, whined, cried, or even pooped while you were in the process of having your baby. And the truth is, we probably won’t even remember any of those pieces after the fact. What we will remember, and what we will definitely tell you: You were strong. You were brave. You birthed your baby exactly the way you needed to.
Want to find out more about what Sara will tell you, educate you, inform you, or reassure you about during your pregnancy and post partum experience? Click here now!