I spent quite a bit of time attending birth last week – spanning 3 days at home and at hospital. And I learned a lot. Here are some gems I collected for myself as a doula, in no particular order:
* It is important to take care of myself: take breaks, rest, drink water, eat and pee – definitely pee! Even if the mama is laboring at home in the only bathroom and I have to have to kick the dad out for a minute to do it.
* Remember to remind mamas to pee too! And remind dads to remind mamas.
* After labor goes into day 2, resist the urge to say “It’s normal” until I ask myself if I really know.
* Look for large puddles and wet washcloths before sitting down on the edge of the tub to give support
* Bring a spare set of lightweight pants (or keep wearing lightweight ones to begin with) in case of forgetting the gem above.
* Keep cultivating connections with other birth professionals. It is great to already have met the other folks attending ahead of time!
* Love and appreciate my mentors, backup and childcare providers.
* Keep absolutely loving mamas and dads – helping them stay present moment by moment – knowing that when they are lost in laborland: they rock, they are doing their best and they are capable of more than they or I realize.