17 Sep Perils of the profession: On birthwork and burn out.
“Anyone can become exhausted. What is so poignant about burnout is that it mainly strikes people who are highly committed to their work: You can only “burn out” if you have been “alight” in the first place.” – Mindtools.com
Birthworkers are the unflinching and unwavering sacred container for women, birthing people and families to lean into as they stand on the threshold of one of life’s biggest transitions.
You are the incredible force that holds the space for women and birthing people.
But who holds that space for you?
You cannot pour from an empty cup.
As a birthworker and probably also as an empath or highly sensitive person, too often your needs come last. I know, because that was me too. You offer so much to those around you, you are a nurturer and you work so hard. Birthwork has one of the highest rates of burn out because of the sheer unpredictability, emotional output, lack of business sustainable strategy, and often isolation that comes with the work. All of the birth workers I know have huge hearts, and are so incredibly valued, but how do we prevent the burn out so that you stay for the long haul?
One of the biggest causes of burnout is a lack of autonomy.
When we don’t feel in control of our work we can begin to feel the resentment and the fatigue that can lead to wanting to throw in the towel; or physically manifesting the symptoms into sickness. Doula and birth work by nature is out of our control. It is uncertain, uncontrollable, spontaneous and fluid. We need to bend ourselves and welcome flexibility to support the individual needs of each client.
When exhaustion, stress, constant hustle, shame, and a lack of pleasure in life becomes the norm, we lose our mojo and our passion, and it negatively impacts every area of our life.
When we are trying to work to a model that fits to someone else’s rhythm, it is like trying to fit a triangle into a circular hole. Finding your flow comes before self care. It comes before your business, because your business should be built around you, not the other way around.
Finding your flow is a homecoming to yourself. This is not a luxury, it is not something that can be bought, and it is not something that can be copied from someone else.
This is your birthright.
Flow is a daily journey that lasts a lifetime. Understanding what continues to be whether you tap into it or not is an invaluable tool. One that will support your body mind and spirit so that you can authentically continue to meet the needs of your clients and family, and live your most vibrant life.
“Caring for your body, mind, and spirit is your greatest and grandest responsibility. It’s about listening to the needs of your soul and then honoring them.”
– Kristi Ling
One way to support sustainable birthwork is about focusing on and establishing processes, routine and workflow for the things that you CAN control to reduce any unexpected stress as best as possible. While of course you cannot plan for absolutely everything, when you consider as many possibilities as possible and attempt to put plans in place for them, you are able to better handle any situation that arises swiftly and with ease.
A really easy and positive way to feel in control, and take back the reigns of this work is to get organised in your life and business.
When we spend time each day allowing flow and fostering clarity to focus on our desires, we are able to not only establish positive habits and routines, but we can accomplish the both the planning and back end work, AND the vital self care work required to maintain a sustainable and profitable business.
Do you have a planning routine? Do you work with your cycles to support your business?
Let me tell you, it can be life changing! And revolutionise the sustainability of your birth business.
I want to see birth workers not only prioritise and really feel into their work but to also prioritise themselves and ensure that they don’t burn out. When we are organised; mind body and spirit, we are able to do and achieve so much more.
This is why I created the #ultimateflow planners as a way to support birthworkers and women in business in maintaining more control over their life and business; precisely to prevent burn out, and promote sustainable business practices. The Labour and Love planner for Birth workers was my first passion and was birthed last year after my frustration of not having something to support the many layers of running a birth business. These planners encompass everything you need to map out your life and business in a holistic way. It is fundamentally based around working with your own natural rhythms, and tapping into the layered cycles that surround us. This offers the opportunity to connect with both our internal and external rhythms and cycles that affect us whether we acknowledge them or not. This information is your birthright and can be completely life changing when you know how to harness their incredible power.
Labour and Love, Ultimate Flow Planner for Birthworkers offers both extensive business and daily planning, but also the ability to dive deep, strategise and prioritise our self care needs within the framework of our individual cycles (whether that be predominantly the menstrual, natal moon, Lunation or even seasonal cycles). This planner was specifically designed for birthworkers to juggle the unique and unpredictable needs that comes with the role, and outlines specific birth biz planning needs- from social media, abundance, client and service information, to working through fears, highlighting monthly mantras and self nourishment as well as cycle charting.
When women in their creative phase acknowledge their potent power that lies within their sacred cycles they can create a flourishing, blooming, abundant and sustainable business. Without the burn out!
If you want to invest in your business, first invest into you, and into the women of the next generation. Become immersed in this mindful daily practice that allows you to find non-negotiable space each and every day to nourish yourself just as you deserve.
Preorder your copy from my campaign in Startsomegood beginning Sept 25, and snag yourself a custom artwork Sacred Yoni t-shirt (the perfect doula top).
Don’t forget to get a Moon Maiden planner for your daughter, niece or friend to help her build solid foundations
of self love, abundance and a vibrant life in full flow.