January, the time of year where we are motivated to do our best and make changes. Often, people think about physical changes, health, and even take on challenges like dry January. But what about New year’s resolutions for birth workers? Are there any changes we should make?
As doulas and childbirth educators, we want to improve our work while also being aware of our priorities. Self-care, our home life, etc., are all important. Finding balance between improving our birth work skills and business growth, along with balancing our priorities can be hard.
These new year’s resolutions for birth workers can help us find that balance.
Take Time to Recognize Your Strengths – Most Important New Year’s Resolution
Before jumping into think about what we can add to or change in our lives, it is important we recognize our strengths. In the same way we remind our birthing clients of their strengths, it is important we do the same for ourselves.
Do your clients rave about your ability to bring a calming presence? Are you a walking birth encyclopedia? Perhaps you’re a wizard with the rebozo, a genius with the affirmations, or a talented business owner. Whatever your strength is, this year, we are going to recognize it!
That’s right, no jumping to where you can possibly improve without recognizing your amazing strength.
Create Your Business Boundaries Without Guilt
Listen, as fellow birth workers, we get it. We know you want your clients confident you are always available. However, being available 24/7 for everything from signing of a contract until baby is walking will have you burned out quickly.
Yes, we are on-call from about 37-42 weeks. Sure, we will always do our best to support preterm births when we can. And we want to help answer questions and concerns throughout the pregnancy.
However, it is important to create boundaries so you can find a healthy balance between work and personal life. Some doulas only respond to non-emergency, not on-call birth needs during set hours. They inform their clients of their “business hours” and let them know they will respond within X number of hours. And there is no guilt!
Think about it, even their obstetricians or midwives are not available to them 24/7 outside of birth. They have a patient portal or calling for non-emergencies to ask questions. Patients can schedule an appointment for additional concerns outside their typically scheduled visits. They always have access to the 24/7 emergency line, but that is only to be used for truly urgent matters.
Take time to think about what boundaries you need with clients and have them clearly written in your contract. This makes it easier for you to balance and it helps your client to have realistic expectations. Realistic expectations lead to positive experiences when they know exactly what to expect with your services.
New Year’s Resolutions For Birth Workers – Continuing Education
As birth workers, it is vital we continue learning. Given that birth impacts so many areas of life, there is almost no limit to what areas you can expand your knowledge.
Take this year to choose one, or more, areas you can learn more about to better support your clients. Work in a diverse area? Be sure to take our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion For Birth Workers training and learn how to best support families from all walks of life, different abilities, different family structures and more.
Many birth workers like to expand their knowledge in lactation, pelvic anatomy, emotional intelligence, business and entrepreneurial skills, social media, nutrition, mental healthcare, and more!
There really is no limit to the areas you can learn more about. The big thing to keep in mind is ensuring you learn from evidenced-based sources.
Choose a Networking Goal – Important New Year’s Resolutions
Birth work can sometimes feel isolating. We spend a lot of time working one-on-one with our clients and not much time with colleagues. Make it a resolution to connect with other birth workers in your area to:
- Improve your business network
- Connect with local resources for yourself and your clients
- Improve birth related socializing to help reduce burn out
- Find backups or provide backups for others
- Expand your knowledge
Make it a point to attend a birth worker event or connect on social media with local birth workers. It can be scary sometimes, but once you find a few likeminded birth workers, you will wonder why you did not reach out sooner.
These are just a few ideas for making birth worker new year’s resolutions. What resolutions do you think can help birth workers?