Week 16 – I DO like Mondays

Week 16 – I DO like Mondays

In fact I like every day of the week now. I realised this week that I have not had that “Monday feeling” since I retired from the Civil Service – even though I am now doing quite a lot  of work (long may it last!).

This has been a really good seven days for my new life: I have had a lovely  few afternoons with my new postnatal family  who, together with the others I have worked with, have given me a lot to think about in the different roles that a doula can provide. Thinking back to the first couple of weeks after the birth I am struck again how important it is that visitors think about the new family’s needs before their own (understandable) desire to meet the baby. Doulas can help in this –  for example organising visitors to bring food for the new family and helping to avoid over-long visits or too many visitors at the same time.

We also  have the advantage of being someone that a mother can speak to who is completely on her side – but without the complications of family closeness. This requires a high level of trust which is why I decided when I started this blog that the focus would be on the development of my new working life – not on my client’s stories. So if I write anything which refers to any of the families I work with I check this with them first – and am very happy to change or delete anything they are uncomfortable with. (I have not had to do this yet.)

We also provide practical day to day support with those things that need doing but are so hard to get done with a new baby – like chopping vegetables for an evening meal or taking the rubbish out. And we are a source of information – on recovery from labour, on infant feeding, on sleeping patterns or whatever the family wants. As a new doula I know as little about some of these things as my clients but have the time and resources to find out. I don’t think I have  done so much desk research since I was a junior researcher – I love it.

The last main thing that I have been doing in the couple of months since I started this work is providing that extra pair of hands that enables a mother to get some rest/ sleep. So I am being paid to cuddle, play with and occasionally feed or change my client’s babies.

I realise that there is a risk that this weeks’s blog is getting too smug for words so will keep my remaining thoughts to a few words: this fabulous week has included: the first paid massage clients coming to my home studio; a great pregnancy massage course  so that I am now formally qualified to massage pregnant women in their second and third trimesters; and I have my first birth doula booking!!! Its a tough life . . .