A Day in the Life of a Doula

Some days as doulas are totally normal… Other days we are hyper vigilant because a client could go into labor at anytime. Or maybe you weren’t expecting a client to go into labor and you have to quickly figure out and change the days plans to accommodate your client’s needs.We aren’t ever far from our phones and the phrase “I’d love to come, as long as I am not at a birth!” comes out of our mouths often. This is from a day last year when I had plans but knew a client was in the early stages of labor.

My morning started by gathering all of our booth supplies. Gentle Transitions was a vendor at our local Cloth Diaper Expo. My daughter loves to come with me and help set up and meet people, so we ran through Starbucks and went to set up for our show. Thankfully I have wonderful team members and I was able to leave early for a family event while they finished the expo.

A client had texted me the night before that she was having some contractions so I wasn’t surprised to hear from her at my cousin’s bridal shower that day. We talked through what she was feeling and some other positions to try and get relief/comfort.

I checked in with her once I got home- she was still doing good at home! But she could tell things were progressing and getting harder to handle.

We had dinner and my husband prepared to go out for a night with friends. He had planned to carpool with someone but had to let them know they might have to come back early if I had to leave.

He left and called me about 2 hours afterwards from a number I didn’t recognize. He was worried wondering if I had tried to call. His phone didn’t have good service where he was and he was concerned that I called or would need to and he wouldn’t get it. So he called me from a friends phone so I had an alternative number. You never know when you will need to go- these babies run the show! 😉 I am also thankful for a husband who cares about my job and all the little things that go along with it.

Around 2am my client decided to head to the hospital and continued to check in with me throughout the night… Until about 4am when they decided they were ready for me to come. I gathered my things and left for the hospital. When I got there she was on her hands and knees over the bed. She let me know most of her pain was in her back and she wanted to rest but the back pain became much worse while laying down. We worked on a few other positions that were restful but more upright. She continued laboring while her husband and I took turns applying pressure or massaging her lower back and fanning her while changing out cool washcloths for her neck and forehead. She was doing great and the hospital staff was so helpful. Not long afterwards she felt the urge to push slightly with her contractions. We followed her lead as she pushed and breathed as her body led her through each contraction. Soon, we could see much more of the baby’s head and before we knew it our nurse was making phone calls and asking to get the delivery set up finished quickly. Just minutes passed until that sweet girl was born. The new parents were so thrilled!

We got mom and baby skin to skin and baby started nursing pretty easily with just a few tips.

I got home in time for lunch and to hang out with some friends before heading off to meet another couple for our prenatal meeting. It was a great weekend full of babies, clients, friends and family! And I slept really well that night!

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