Let's talk self care....why not everyone else is. Those are two words that come up on every feed, in many current articles and on television shows. But what does that really mean and translate to for new parents, particularly primary caregivers? Lots of people associate self care with a massage or spa day, but I think we very much need to widen the lens and see the larger picture.
New parents (actually all parents) need to take care of themselves, because unfortunately the cliche is true, you cannot pour from an empty cup. If you are doing the lions share of the childcare, it is essential to put yourself on the list, I know the list is LONG, so terribly long!
Self care does not have to be expensive. You can participate with or without a partner, or without the resources/childcare for a massage or spa day. Take a hot bath when your child goes to bed, or read a book that you have been wanting to read, a glass of wine and mini binge-watch or perhaps chat on the phone with a friend. Whatever you find relaxing that you can build into your day. Do it with intention and regularity (my fix is a hot bath from the far bathroom because you can almost hear nothing when the fan is on :) that way you are pouring from a partially filled cup at least.
April is c-section awareness month. This was my daughter's birth on June 7, 2011. It was to say the least, NOT what I had in mind!
Cesarean rates are on the rise in Canada, despite the declining birth rate. In 1995 the birth rate of all births by cesarean was 17%, in 2010 that rate was 27%. There are truly legitimate, life-saving reasons to require a cesarean. But we tend as a society to forget that it is major abdominal surgery, cutting through seven, yes seven layers to get to the uterus and your baby.
Recovery is often longer, more restrictive and frequently more complicated than a vaginal delivery.
I guess my point in this post is to be informed, my cesarean might have been avoided by knowing more about my options and knowing that I could advocate for myself, but maybe I would have ended up on that table regardless. If you truly need a cesarean, then we are blessed to have the option to have safe, healthy deliveries of our babies. Having the photos as proof is just gravy.
So who knew there was such a thing. With the impending birth of Meghan Markle's royal bundle (don't pretend you haven't heard, living on planet earth means we all have), this term is making it's mark!
Wanting to give birth surrounded by women in a supportive, comfortable environment does not make you a brat, it makes real statistical sense. Women supported by doula's , even without the proven benefits of midwives statistically have lower intervention rates, lower cesarean rates, shorter labours and more satisfaction with their births.
We have profoundly medicalized giving birth, resulting in women being less empowered and less satisfied with their experiences and often with little control over what happens with our own bodies. I only wish I had been more informed and ready to advocate for my own birth experience.
So go ahead, be a birth brat, you will thank yourself for it!
Check out the link https://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/ for some great information on being informed about all your birth options.
I have been asked so many times since kicking off my certification process, "Why do you want to be a doula?" "Wait, isn't doula Greek for servant?" "Isn't that like being a housekeeper." "A babysitter?" So, no and no! After I had a baby and a nightmarish experience birthing and recovering, I asked myself, 'there must be a better way....right?"
So that kicked off the desire to doula. Settling into the new normal of being a parent is a road that is filled with joy, fear and overwhelming moments of questions and concern.
A Postpartum Doula is there to help you heal, listen, care, and take care of your whole family. How I wished I had known more about what services a Doula can provide such as; education, guidance, physical support and resources.
I have always worked in a support role throughout my work life, so being a doula is an extension of that role. Providing the support that I could have seriously used when I was a new parent. So why Doula????? Why NOT?