Given that our company name is Nurturing Birth we often talk as a team about what it truly means to nurture. It really saddens me when I see doulas caring for everyone but themselves! There seems to be a belief that those in caring professions should put themselves last. However, there are two expressions that really resonate for me:
The first is “Put your own oxygen mask on first”. A lot of people argue that it is selfish to focus on yourself first, however I ask you how caring and helpful are you going to be without oxygen in your lungs?
The second feels very doula-centric, given that we often spend time tea-drinking with our clients, listening to them and holding space. “You cannot pour from an empty cup” makes sense – we need to fill our own cups before we can pour energy, heart and soul into the people and families we work with. Our work is so vital and yet we often give so much of ourselves that we are left feeling depleted, exhausted and, if we are not careful, burnt out and resentful. Over the years we have seen many doulas reach a point of burnout, so much so that they have stepped away from the role entirely, which is so sad.
Back in 2019 we created our Retreat Days at Nurturing Birth because we recognised the need that so many doulas have for connection – with each other, but also with themselves. Bringing doulas together to share, to have space for reflection, to be nourished, was so special and the feedback was incredibly positive.
Our Retreat Days are designed for doulas and birth workers to replenish – to fill that cup – so that we leave feeling recharged, revitalised and ready to go back out there and support people in a way that we love.
Recently, we have upgraded our Retreat Days with the aim of nourishing body, mind and spirit. Having gone to our brilliant Nurturing Birth community and asked them what they wanted from a Retreat we have brought in collaborators and specialists so that we can weave together gentle movement sessions, relaxation, delicious food and opportunities for reflective work, all within lovely settings designed to leave you feeling calmer and more connected, both with yourself and other lovely doulas and birth keepers.
Nurturing Birth’s focus goes beyond training doulas, to continue to provide spaces where doulas can be supported, be those virtual (at our weekly Virtual Cuppas or on our private Facebook group), one-to-one via mentoring sessions or in-person on Retreat Days and workshops. The Retreat Days are a really special opportunity for us as a team to catch up with the lovely doulas we have sometimes never met in person. They are a complete joy.
To find out more about our Retreats and upcoming dates go to https://courses.nurturingbirth.co.uk/nurturing-birth-retreat