My birth doula training (doula= non-medical labor coach) took place this weekend, and it was wonderful. I also had a great day today full of calls, texts, and emails from friends and family asking me how it went. I feel so loved and supported. Thank you!
I want to share some of the best parts of the two-day training. But first I want to share this chubby angel...
Is he the sweetest thing you've ever seen or what? This little guy is the best four-month-old baby in the world; he tagged along with his still-breastfeeding mama to the training and basically slept, smiled, and ate the whole time. After being around him for a full weekend, all I can say is that Nate is lucky he is currently across several continents and a giant ocean. I was in full-on baby-crazed mode.
I learned too much in those two days to comment on even half of it, and I am still processing much of what we discussed. Are you interested in hearing more? I promise I'll stay away from bajingo talk (actually, I do have more to say specifically about euphemisms for human sexual anatomy, but I'll try to stay on topic).
One of my biggest take-aways is that many different types of career paths and personality types can choose to be doulas; a common thread among the women at the workshop was that they were brilliant, and they were powerful. Okay, I suppose that's two common threads.
I am even more excited about becoming a doula now than I was prior to the training! A good sign, right? At the workshop, I discovered much of what a doula does is to prepare a woman for childbirth during pre-natal visits. I've always considered mental and physical preparation to be important parts of my own birth preparations, so it makes sense to me that I'll do some of my best connecting with moms-to-be during their pregnancy.
Another area of interest for me is lactation consulting, and I got some tips for how I can get the ball rolling on that training too. Although I loved breastfeeding, it was initially lightyears more difficult than I imagined it would be. I think more women would love it too if they had a better experience from the start.
I even had a non-training-related learning experience from the past two days. I observed that my own demeanor relaxed throughout the workshop, as though having grown-up conversations, both intellectual and chatty, made my cares of the week/month fall away. I became reenergized to go back to being around my kids again and felt inspired to take on new projects for them as well. I don't think it can be overstated how vital it is that moms who stay at home do something every now and then--for longer than one hour--that is just for them.
I have a giant notebook now with tons of scribbled notes in it. It will take me a while to sift through them and share some of what I've learned; today I want to share one wonderful resource I discovered called One World Birth: Save Birth. Change the World. I am in the process for creating a website that will house my doula business, and I plan to include many resources for pregnancy and childbirth that I learned about this weekend. Reader, if you are a mom or mom-to-be, I hope to enlist you in the coming weeks and months to give me feedback to improve the new site. Stay tuned!