One of the most challenging parts of being a doula is living that “On Call” lifestyle. Often when I commit to an event, I must add the caveat, unless I’m at a birth. The best way to describe preparing to be on call comes from a meme I saw years ago. I have to get my squirrels out of the rave and my ducks in a row. While it has it’s challenges I love being on call because that means your special day is near. I live for that on call life because I get to do what I love and it just fills my cup helping mommas become mommas
Things I avoid
I live on one of the coolest streets in Williamsburg. My neighbors get together with wine and beer at least once a month, if not more in the warmer months. I’m usually the party pooper that goes home early to be in bed at a decent hour and I also don’t partake in more then one glass of wine. It’s not a big deal but it is something I tend to miss. I also will add I am a nutcase about my phone being charged. I have a portable battery and two chargers in my car. I take on call very seriously. My phone will NEVER die when I am on call.
Busch Gardens is very limited unless they have premier parking available. Last year they charged 20$ for upgraded parking so I hardly went when I was on call. This year I may invest in the more expensive pass for myself and keep the kids and hubby at the basic pass. We can also add Water Country USA to this. I don’t go as often because no one wants a doula that smells like a swimming pool at their birth.
Travel and driving around
On call life requires me to be within an hour of my clients place of birth/home. My mother lives in Virginia Beach so she’s still in my designated zone, unless I’m doing a birth at Henrico in Richmond, Virginia. However, when I do go visit I take a separate car from my hubby and kids, in case I have to head out before they are ready to leave.
My trunk is a sight to see while on call. It’s not as crazy as it used to be in Alabama. Virginia hospitals are stocked with birth balls so I don’t bring that around with me as much anymore. I do have an amazing picture of what my trunk used to look like! Here I carry a change of cloths, my bag, comfortable shoes and my C.U.B. I also make sure my tank is full or at least half full. I don’t want to worry about getting gas at 2 in the morning.
What does On Call mean for the client?
As your doula I go on call from 38 weeks until baby comes earth side. This means that I am available at any time of the day or night to answer your questions or leave to be with you. I again keep my phone on me 24/7, because I want to be 100% available to you. Should you go into labor prior to 38 weeks, I am usually still around and I do make myself available starting around 36 weeks if no vacations are planned, I just tend to be a little less neurotic about it. However, if you have preterm labor prior to 36 weeks I usually will have to use my back up doula if she is available which leads me to my next topic, my back up doula.
My back up doula
I have use a few back up doulas in the past but my favorite is Kasie Ballard. She’s a doula of my own heart. We have pretty similar doulaing styles. I also have used Kiera Curtis, she is one of my closest friends here and I think she is an amazing doula. I would never leave you with anyone I wouldn’t chose myself should I need a doula in the future. Kasie was trained with Stillbirthday Doula. She is president of Weighted Angels and also assists mothers who are experiencing a loss. Kiera is certified with D.O.N.A. and is also a placenta encapsulator and a birth photographer.
I hope I have given a comprehensive look into my on call world. If you have any additional questions please let me know. You can either email me from my contact page or you can post a question as a comment on my blog. Thanks for taking the time to read about The Secret Life of a Williamsburg doula on call.
I am so excited to introduce the CUB to my tool box. I borrowed one from a fellow doula and found it very helpful. It's the cross between a birth ball and a birth stool. It's soft and comfy like a birth ball but stays in place like a birth stool.
Research shows that upright birthing positions lead to generally better outcomes for mom and baby. X-Rays have shown that being upright opens the pelvic outlet by 30%.
Pregnancy sometimes comes with aches and pains. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a natural method of reducing some of these pains? There is!! Chiropractic care in pregnancy can help keep your body balanced and your ligaments optimal. Chiropractic care allows optimal alignment for birth and is an all natural and hands on approach.
Hampton Roads has a great resource for chiropractic care, Dr. Schwab. She is highly experienced in working with pregnant women, and she looks forward to helping you enjoy the healthiest pregnancy possible. Dr. Schwab is also certified in the Webster Technique, which is helpful for many pregnant women.
Dr. Schwab went to Life University in Marietta Georgia. She is also currently working with ICPA on her diplomat degree.
According the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association), women that receive regular chiropractic care typically see the following benefits:
· 39% reduction in labor times during 2nd/3rd pregnancies
· 50% reduction in the need for analgesics during labor
· 84% of women report relief of back pain
· The sacroiliac joints will maintain better function which means less back labor
· Faster posture healing postpartum
· Decreased risk of postpartum depression
A typical appointment consists of going over your health history and talking about anything specific that may be bothering you. She then gently looks you over to see where any misalignment might be. This all takes about 30 minutes as she is very thorough.
Since I have been under the care of Dr. Schwab I have felt very well looked after. She also takes care of my children and my kids have come to love visiting Dr. Scwab. As a doula, I also had a relationship with a chiropractor in Montgomery Alabama at Pickett Family Chiropractor and I have seen first hand the benefits of chiropractic care in pregnancy. Often I would hear from my clients that they wish they had gone sooner.
Dr. Schwab is located at 3212 Hampton Hwy., Ste. C in Yorktown, VA 23693. She may be reached at (757) 867-1046. Her current hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-6. Tuesday 9-12 and Thursdays she is closed.