Monday, December 10, 2012


Yes, even a doula takes a vacation.  I have been involved in attending births for 26 years now.   How have I kept myself from getting burned out from my stressful job?  I plan two vacations a year.

I have found that it is not enough to just be off-call because if you are in the vicinity and a labor starts, you will still want to attend.   if the phone rings with a new inquiry, you are going to take it. mif a client has a question, you are going to respond.    So twice a year I call in a backup, make plans with different friends and have a "change of pace" in my schedule.   This also gives me something to look forward to, especially if I have attended several very long births in a row.

When I'm entering hour 30 of a labor that still has time to go, I start remembering i have an upcoming trip.

Living life on call 24/7 for months at a time can wear on you, and cause a lot of stress.  But having a brief time away with no worry about the phone ringing at 2am can have a refreshing effect.  A friend and I recently went to Kauai for 5 days.  Not a long trip but many hours were spent just staring at the waves and sand crabs.  A definite change of pace!

Of course it is costly to take time off but the other downside can be that you worry you have forgotten how to work through a labor.   Tonight I had my first birth after six weeks and was delighted to see that I had not forgotten what to do....and also it was the 795th birth I have attended.
So I guess I have no excuse not to remember how to help.

The next time you are finding yourself in a rut, follow my plan.   Have a vacation! I highly recommend it.