Most new parents will tell you that navigating through those first few days after bringing home a new baby is anything but easy! Even for the most experienced parents, bringing home a new baby means changing routines, dividing time and just trying to figure out how to juggle it all. If the mom had a cesarean delivery or any other birth complications, it makes the transition to home even more challenging. The problem that many families face is finding the necessary support through these first few weeks. The help of a postpartum doula can be just the solution that these parents are looking for! Postpartum doulas assist families with bringing home a new baby, whether that is through birth or adoption.
What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula provides expert information on topics such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care. She is there to help a family in the initial days and weeks after bringing home a baby. Research shows that moms, dads and babies have a smoother transition if a good support team is in place.
Do I need a postpartum doula?
Postpartum doulas are the modern version of the community of women who surrounded and supported pregnant and laboring women during and after the birth. If you lack that sort of support system, a doula can fill in.
Postpartum doula care helps keep the baby blues at bay. The two greatest contributors to postpartum depression are fatigue and a general lack of support. Having a reliable doula or a support team to rally around you while you bond with your baby is critical to maternal-infant attachment, mental health, and future parenting. A 2009 study in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing found that postpartum doulas effectively promote maternal responsiveness and competence in new moms.
While, the postpartum doula offers many services to our clients. Our main goals are to help “mother the mother” and nurture the entire family as they transition into life with a newborn. This would include helping mom and dad feel more confident in their roles, sharing information on family adjustment, and tending to the unique needs of a new mother. A postpartum doula will work with each family individually to assess their particular needs.
What does a postpartum doula do?
Some of the duties that a postpartum doula will perform include:
Most postpartum doulas provide service for a family anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks after bringing home a new baby. Families may have the doula work one to three days a week or as many as five days a week. Postpartum doulas often offer nighttime service to help the family transition more smoothly into the challenges of night time parenting.
What’s the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby nurse?
The postpartum doula’s role is to support everyone in the family, including mom, dad, siblings, and baby. Unlike a baby nurse, whose sole focus is the new baby, the postpartum doula is there to support the mom through the postpartum period and help the family as a whole.
Can I hire a postpartum doula even if I did not have a doula at my birth?
Absolutely! Any family that would like to feel supported and cared for during the postpartum period can hire a postpartum doula. The end goal is to help parents achieve independence and confidence in their parenting skills as they bond with their baby. First time parents welcome the care as they adjust to their new roles and families with older children often benefit from the practical support.
Scheduling your postpartum doula
A typical schedule that often works well for many postpartum families is for the doula to provide support for four hours a day, three times a week. Some clients benefit from just a few shifts, while others desire support over a longer time period as they adjust to their new roles as parents. We will work together to determine your respective needs and adjust the schedule accordingly.
During my initial complimentary consultation we will discuss your needs and schedule. We will arrange a prenatal visit to your home. At that meeting, we will create an individualized support plan to foster a positive experience during the postpartum transition.
“I tend to develop a deep connection with my Doula clients and their families. Postpartum work gives me an opportunity to watch them grow in love. Processing the birth together, not only helps the mom to heal and remember her delivery experience, it also provides me with invaluable information, it helps me improve as an individual and a professional. Each birth is unique and I enjoy the involvement in theses special moments.”
“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it can be a sign of real strength.”
~ Mister Rogers ~