Here’s my review of Down the Canal: The Game of Birth (from the perspective of a bunch of birth lovin’ doulas)!
But first, let’s talk about the Tallahassee Doula Co-Op’s annual retreat.
Doula Co-Op Annual Retreat
Every year the Tallahassee Doula Co-Op gets together for a retreat. It is always amazing to hang out with birthy people, but the retreat is always extra special because it lasts ALL WEEKEND! It’s a time for team building, planning, organizing, sharing, learning and growing.
If you are a part of a group of birthy folks, I highly recommend getting away for an annual retreat! With the hustle and bustle of regular, every day life, taking a time out of sorts does amazing things for a group that works together. (Especially when it comes to birth workers! Anybody experienced with birth work knows that burnout is real. Annual retreats help prevent and work through burnout.)
This year we held our annual retreat on the beach. It’s a tough life down here in Florida.
There were even personalized retreat cookies to be had. Nom nom.
Down the Canal Review
Just for fun, this year us doulas decided to play the game Down the Canal: The Game of Birth. I thought it would be a fun activity to get some good conversation going. I was right!
TIP: If you are a doula or a childbirth instructor and are hoping to play this game with students and clients, play the game by yourself first. There was a little bit of a learning curve on HOW to play the game. Don’t let the first time you play be with a pregnant mama!
To begin, place the game pieces in the fallopian tubes… I mean on start. The cards played in this section have to do with getting pregnant and pregnancy. For many this may be a moot point, so feel free to start the game further on down the canal. 😉
TIP: While playing in the conception and pregnancy section you may stumble upon a “false pregnancy, go back to start” card. This may be triggering for some, so, use discretion. Pull the card or skip this section entirely.
Some of the cards are informational in nature and some are questions to ask other players. All of the cards are great conversation starters, especially if the player is unfamiliar with the subject matter.
One of our favorite cards was an informational card that said, “Studies have shown that with the continuous support of a doula women were significantly less likly to be dissatisfied with the birth experience.”
Once we figured out HOW to play and got through the conception portion of the game, I feel like us doulas settled into a groove. Things even got a little bit competitive! And of course, we doulas argued about the cards, how each one was worded and whether or not we would use that particular card with a client.
Down the Canal Review
Down the Canal is a fun game that is perfect for an ice breaker during a childbirth class, a prenatal visit with a doula or even as part of a social with other birth workers. Tweak the game for each scenario by shifting where players start on the board and emphasizing or censoring playing cards. Down the Canal is a great game for learning the ins and outs of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum!