Are You Running On Empty? Midwife Self-Care

You’re racing to the hospital to help deliver babies, you’re up half the night on shift, you’re most likely also caring for your own children or others in your family, as you’re just good at that kinda stuff, it’s your thing. And there’s not much time left for you, nor energy left in your tank. Sound familiar?

Midwife self-care - are you running on empty?

Kidneys and Midwife Self-Care

In Chinese medicine we call this draining your Kidney Qi (Qi is energy). Your Kidneys are the foundation of life in Chinese medicine, they are said to be the driver of your deep fire and your will to live.

You can’t live without your Kidneys – they’re super important in midwife self-care. When you dip into your Kidney Qi, it’s kinda like dipping into your superannuation account all the time. It wears you down deeply and it can take a long time to properly and fully replenish. At that stage, you’re close to burnout.

Sometimes it can be so hard to stop and take care of yourself. It will take an illness – yourself or someone close – or a huge argument with a spouse or a child, or some other challenging life event for you to actually stop and reassess.

So what can you do to rebuild yourself from near burnout? Or when you’ve put the brakes on and you’ve been taking it slow, how can you can keep tending to yourself in a sustainable way? (That’s the gold in the self-care equation – learning how to live a life in balance where your needs are being met at the same time as others. This can be such a tricky balance to find and even more so when you’re a mother yourself too.)

4 Tips for Midwife Self-Care

 

1. Dedicated daily you time.

You might have heard this a thousand times before but have you really listened – and are you actually doing it?

Daily time for yourself is important to fill up your own tank so that you have enough Qi in the bank to help others. It is not selfish, it’s the best way to ensure you’ve got the reserves to care for your mums, your family and all those who rely on you.

This could be a daily bath, a walk, some meditation, a run, some yoga, anything that you do on your own or with a friend and that you enjoy – that’s the key. You want it to light your fire.

 

2. Soups and stews made from scratch.

Why those hey? Well from a Chinese medicine point of view, food that is slow cooked is great as it replenishes your Yin. Yin is the slow-moving aspect of life and energy whilst Yang is the fast-moving aspect.

In our world, most of our interactions are fast-paced and it’s important to mix it up and balance it out with slow-moving things like certain foods. Food is a wonderful way to help rebalance. This kind of slow-cooked food, especially when made with free-range organic animal bones, is wonderful to replenish your Kidney Qi.

Get our Red Tent Health Centre recipes for slow-cooked chicken broth and congee.

 

3. Take care of your health sooner rather than later.

I bet you’re great at knowing when other people need to sort their health out, but can you do that for yourself?

Are you putting your own health on the back seat?

Do you have niggling back pain, neck pain, a gut that’s just not right and hasn’t been for ages? It’s not major so you just deal with it but it’s zapping you of energy, it’s stagnating what energy you have and if you make the time to look into it and get on top of it, it will do you the world of good.

It may mean seeing your Doc for some blood tests, it could mean going to physio, having acupuncture, getting a massage or seeing a nutritionist. Whatever it is, midwife self-care means not neglecting yourself.

 

4. Moxibustion and acupressure.

Another beautiful way to tonify your kidneys is to use moxibustion (moxa) on this acupressure point, BL-23 (pictured below). Want to learn how to use this beautiful warming herbal treatment? We have moxa sticks for sale in our shop which come with instructions. Just choose the “Moxibustion for Improving Kidney Energy Pack of 10” option.

Midwife self-care - acupressure point BL-23

 

In Chinese medicine there is a saying: The mother feeds the child. When you’re a midwife you are the mother to so many women and essentially, they’re your children. As a mother figure, you must look after yourself first so you can adequately look after them – and the rest of your family!

You are so important. The work you do as a midwife is incredible. Start putting yourself first and see what happens.

What are your favourite midwife self-care tips? Let us know in the comments below.