By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
May is International Doula Month (IDM) and we need to celebrate big time. Last year, I suggested ten things that doulas could do to honor IDM, but this month I say, “Go big or go home!” I want to suggest something that you can do every day in May, to recognize International Doula Month and honor the efforts and contributions of doulas all around the world. DONA International has lots planned and you will see all our efforts on social media and in your inbox throughout the month, but here are 31 wonderful things that you can do to celebrate doulas beginning right now and continuing every single day of International Doula Month. What’s stopping you – get started now, with one idea or all of them! Drop me a note in the comments section to let me know how you are celebrating.
- Change your social media profile picture to one that shouts out International Doula month
- Wear your best doula promoting clothing. Even better if it is DONA swag that shouts out DONA International
- Write a blog post for IDM, and share your favorite reason you enjoy being a doula.
- Handwrite a thank you to your own doula, or a send a nice note to a doula you admire and respect in your community. Everyone loves to receive nice notes in the mail.
- Make a donation to DONA International or your local community doula organization. Alternately, donate to another nonprofit doing what they can to help parents and babies, such as March of Dimes or March for Moms.
- Check out any of the back issues of the International Doula magazines that you might have missed in the past. Online access through the member portal is a member benefit, and each magazine is filled with great material that will supply hours of reading.
- Attend some continuing education on perinatal topics. You can find DONA’s online offerings here. For in-person continuing education, see what is being offered in your area here.
- Make the investment of your time and money and register for the 2018 DONA International Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Or choose to participate in the Virtual conference in August.
- Plan and/or attend a social event during the month of May with other doulas in your area to network and build community.
- Make arrangements to speak at a local community meeting (library, school, church?) to share what a doula does.
- Write a short press release about doulas and send it to local radio stations, newspapers and community blogs. They are always looking for fresh content.
- Promote your business and offer a small discount or special gift for new clients who sign up for your services during International Doula Month.
- Bake and decorate cookies or cupcakes with a fun birth or baby theme and bring to share with nurses at your local L&D unit or at a new parents’ group.
- Share a fun fact about birth or babies every day on your favorite social media account in May for IDM.
- Read a “new to you” book about birth or new parenthood. Fiction or nonfiction, your choice.
- Host an “ask the doula” Facebook live event.
- Plan to get a great massage shortly after your next birth or overnight shift! Treat yourself.
- Contact a local childbirth educator and offer to go to their class and talk about what a doula does. You can even help them on them on the night they cover comfort measures.
- Purchase a new tool for your birth or postpartum bag. Here’s one of my faves.
- Treat yourself to some excellent quality compression socks to wear while you work to keep your feet feeling great. There are some really attractive ones available nowadays that look like regular knee socks.
- Spend an afternoon refreshing and updating your website with some SEO touch-ups.
- Subscribe to this blog or another of your favorite birth blogs.
- Get a tattoo or henna (not permanent) to celebrate birth and parenting.
- Get your creativity on by painting, drawing, composing a piece of music, sculpting or something else creative dedicated to birth and babies.
- Buy some great quality new shoes to help your feet make it comfortably through the longest shift or birth.
- Build new connections with a local healthcare provider over coffee.
- Update your referral list and make sure all the contacts are current and still practicing.
- Volunteer for DONA International in an area that interests you most.
- Purchase some personalized swag promoting your own business and hand it out.
- Reconnect with former clients to celebrate International Doula Month and tell them how much you appreciated working with them.
- Write a haiku about doulas, birth, babies and early parenting and share in the comments below.
Taking on the challenge. #31 Below is my haiku
3 minutes apart
I witness power and strength
I am a doula
I will begin my celebration by acknowledging how possitive your impact in the Doula world is. Thank you Sharon. You are truly appreciated.
Kristin, thank you for your kind words! We are a community and are stronger together!
birth changes many
each client leaves a small part
of themselves with us
Rising Peaking Fading
Until the cry is heard
A miracle each time
One birth at a time
Confidence, courage, and pride
Doulas we are one