Doula Certification Training
Module 2 (Postpartum Period and Lactation)
Lesson 4: Sealing the Ceremony, Carrying the Future
Congratulations for embarking on your journey as an
Original Instructions Postpartum and Lactation Doula
Please read and answer the following questions and return to Brittany@OriginalInstructionsSchool.com in the form of a google doc, email, pdf or a scan/ high-quality photo of handwritten format.
As an Original Instructions Postpartum and Lactation Doula you have learned that women and babies open up as gateways between life and death.
In the same way that it takes time for a baby to grow within the womb, so too the Bardo of the Postpartum gradually comes to a close. It is your charge as Original Instructions Postpartum Doulas to accompany the Mother and her family until at least the 40th day after birth, and then to honor or "seal" her birth Bardo by way of any ceremonies, rituals, or other acknowledgment that is culturally and spiritually relevant to her.
1.) Practicing traditional uterine massage in your postpartum practice is not only important on a physiological level, but also is crucial in helping to properly close the Birth Bardo.
Answer the following questions pertaining to your training in postpartum uterine massage
1. Please describe a general postpartum uterine massage treatment, as you learned in class, in a 7 step process.
2. When providing postpartum uterine massage what is the minimum amount of days after the birth should you continue administering periodic massage treatments?
3. In general, after a normal vaginal delivery, the fundus of the uterus should be located at the height of the belly button. True or False?
4. Is it safe to administer uterine massage within the first year after receiving a c-section? Why or why not?
5. During our training, we discussed numerous plants that contain nutritive, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties and which would, therefore, be appropriate choices for adding into a medicinally infused oil for postpartum uterine massage. Please name at least five different medicinal plants which would support postpartum healing through when applied topically.
2.) During the in-person portion of this program we learned about several ways of processing the placnta after the birth. Please read the information at the link below and be sure to stay current with your FDA approval if you plan on providing encapsulated placenta supplements and/or postpartum dishes containing placenta in the publice area.
3.) Explore your toolset for facilitating the closing of the Birth Bardo
Throughout our Original Instructions Postpartum and Lactation Doula training, we have explored various ceremonies, rituals, and ways of honoring a mother and her family through the weeks following birth.
Our guest speakers Sarah and Chris allowed us to reweave their birth story with them when they came to visit us in class, and we were able to experience in-person how important it is for mothers and new families to have company in the telling and honoring of their unique and sacred birth story.
1. Consider the importance of (or absence of) good old-fashioned storytelling in your life. Identify two ways in which you can make more space for traditional storytelling in your life.
2. If you decide to practice as an Original Instructions Postpartum Doula within your community what are four ways in which you could honor a mother and her family during the postpartum Birth Bardo?
3. Meditate on a vision of yourself as a guardian at the gateway between Life and Death. Take many deep breaths as you see yourself guarding the gateway in a good way. Observe what feelings, tools, companions, or attributes assist you in your efforts as guardian.
4. In two sentences or less, express what gifts you have to offer your community.
Visioning your future as an Original Instructions Postpartum Doula
Please read the link containing relevant local resources which were included along with this lesson, and explore what services they offer in your local community via the web, phone, and in-person.
After having explored services that are currently being offered in your area please take at least thirty minutes of alone time in the early morning (preferably with a cup of tea) between the hours of three and six in the morning. Begin this visioning session with a meditation of your choice during which you center your mind and set your intention on how your new skill set as an Original Instructions Postpartum Doula will best serve yourself and your community. Follow your meditation with that focus and observe what comes up. Once you have returned from your meditation record anything you vividly remember from your meditation by using sensory language.
Thank you for all of your time, devotion, and hard work.
We honor you as a woman who carries medicine for her people.
Please complete all of the indicated questions and homework. Upon completion, you may turn in your typed or written answers and journal entries in the form of google docs, pdf file, scanned attachment or HD photo to Brittany@OriginalInstructionsSchool.com