Three of us in the class are doulas from previous experience. We have been to births and have learned some tips on how to support women during labour and birth.
So, I thought – what a better way to share those labour support tips and to bond than to host 21 classmates in my tiny, two bedroom attic apartment? With some careful rearranging, I was able to make space to practice labour support techniques and, obviously, for food and bevies. With the quick addition of labour support display consisting of books and tools etc. (provided by my roomie!), we were ready for the 21 to join us.
I came up with the idea to use our rooms as stations to learn different phases of labour and different support techniques for each phase. The other two doula’s did the rest by filling in the information we needed at each station and brainstorming labour support techniques that we should demonstrate. They really did a tremendous amount of work! We had the girls in all sorts of positions, using rebozos, the ball, and brainstorming language to use during labour. It was so lovely. People brought food and drinks, we laughed and did skits, and enjoyed each other’s company in a way we hadn’t in awhile.
This was our biggest class gathering ever, and I found it interesting to see what taking everyone out of the school context did for bonding and socializing. One of the girls in our class is even pregnant, so she was keen to have us practice belly support techniques on her (which only bonded us further). One of my favourite moments was when the baby was kicking, and all the gals hurried over to feel. It is basically like winning the lottery for MITs (midwives-in-training)!
After two rounds of rotations (and belly palpations!) to learn the phases of labour and the support techniques possible in each, we had the ladies fill out a “Labour Quickie” card to help them remember their favourite labour support tips going forward. Each person got to select a cardstock colour of their choice, and write down whatever they wanted to take away from the evening. The cards were arranged such that you could write one to five things under each phase of labour, including postpartum care. My hope in generating this activity was to help us all next year, when we are launched into placement and need a quick reminder of best practices. Being that some in our cohort have never been to a birth, I really do hope they find these little take-aways helpful. Everyone sure seemed keen to make them!
I am honoured that so many people came to learn from the three of us and accepted the invitation to socialize and learn simultaneously. I feel closer to everyone now, and know with more of a certainty that I have a great class. I want to be more grateful for that, and spend more time with them, before next year hits and we begin to barely see each other due to placements.
Get ready world, new midwives are in training and they will be unleashed in 2018!