2. Taking off comfy clothes- Just as wonderful as it is to wear said comfy clothes, I love coming home from a birth and ripping off my shoes and bra, and collapsing on my bed. There's nothing like it after a long birth.
3. A long hot shower- No matter how quick or long and difficult the birth was, a long hot shower after coming home from a birth always makes me feel refreshed. Especially if the birth was long, I feel so grimy and love to wash my hair and brush my teeth before passing out in bed.
4. Food! Your doula probably made sure that you ate before heading to the hospital, and she knows it's just as important for her to eat too. I try to eat something before heading to a birth- I never know how long I will be gone! Snacks in my doula bag are also essential. A granola bar at 4am can sometimes be a life-saver when I'm hitting a wall.
5. A long nap- After coming home from a long birth, I usually pick up food on the way home, scarf it down when I walk in the door, peel off my clothes, and then I nap. A long luxurious nap is often needed to reset my sleep-wake cycle if I've been up all hours of the night with parents. If I could have nothing else after a birth, a nap would be my first priority.
6. Loving family members- Doula work is demanding on families. If often entails wife or mom to be gone for long stretches of time, with no idea when she will return. Coming home to a husband or partner who is supportive of doula work and values what we are doing is priceless. A little wine and chocolate waiting for us never hurts either ;)
7. Water- When I'm at a birth I try to remember to bring a water bottle with me, but sometimes I forget. It seems the nurse is always very good at making sure the laboring mama has plenty of water, but sometimes the support people get left out of that. When the nurse does ask the partner and I if we want some water, I always enthusiastically say 'yes please!' Even though staying hydrated is such a simple thing, it can really help me stay energized and on top of my doula game. And we're constantly reminding that laboring mama to drink, so it's great if we are treating our own need for hydration just as important.