Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weather - labor?

It's a lovely rainy day - which made me think about all the times labor seemed to come when the storms came.  I have always heard that a full moon can bring labor  on - gravitational pull being stronger and all of that reasoning.  But I've had so many postdate moms who looked on a calender for the next full moon feeling that would be the day we would head to the hospital....and didn't. 

But I've had many times where a huge storm came through town and it brought labor with it.  Such an interesting drive to the hospital at 3am during a driving rain storm trying to avoid the limbs on the street.  Of course I will take rain over fog anyday!  Still remember a 2am drive over the causeway to Davis with visibility almost zero....arrived in time to push a baby out-but the drive was not fun.

So can we rely on weather to help encourage the timing of labor - perhaps. But I would prefer to remember that it is the baby who signals the start of  labor so the more we can be patient to allow labor to happen on a baby's terms, the better the birth will be. 

Are you waiting for labor to start?  Sit back and relax and enjoy these rainy days - and hopefully the baby will cooperate in your hopes of labor beginning soon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back Up Doulas

I was reminded this week of how vital it is to have good backup for our work as doulas.  I got a call in the morning from a doula who was on a birth at one facility, just heard from a 38 week client who was being admitted to the hospital in another facility, and this doula's backup was out of town. I had enough time to throw on my shoes and run out my door. I was very glad I could help this family have doula support but it actually caused me alot of anxiety about my own clients.

That weekend, I had 3 possible births who could need help.  And made many calls to my backups to make sure someone would be available.  We all have our own lives, and some were travelling, some were not feeling well, some had family obligations, some were on other births, etc.  Thankfully I am surrounded by many dedicated and hardworking doulas so I had assurance I could call if I needed someone.

Then - my fears were starting to come true.  One mom starts labor Friday morning  but didn't deliver until Sunday around midnight.- another is to be induced Sunday morning  and ended up delivering Sunday afternoon- and the 3rd mom who thought she might be in labor on Sunday - has not delivered yet.

All doulas realize that when families work so hard to interview and select a doula, they want THEIR doula.  It can be very concerning to learn that someone you don't know might come through that door.  So we all work very hard to make sure we are available for our clients. But life - and birth - happens.  I am grateful to say I was able to attend both my births on Sunday (with a 2 hour window between them). And they were wonderful families who had amazing births.

I would just like to reassure all families who are concerned that they might end up with the "backup", that doulas are a special breed of women. They come into this work with a concern and passion for labor and support.  They are invested in supporting families to the best of their ability. We try to pick backup that we know and have confidence in their abilities.  So feel comfortable that if your doula has to send a backup, she will be an amazing support to you through your labor and although your doula will have to mourn the loss of attending your birth, you'll be happy a backup doula was there!