What is a Postpartum Doula?

You’ve spent months preparing for the arrival of your new baby. You’ve read books, watched birth videos, took childbirth classes and talked to other new parents. Now your precious baby has arrived and you realize there were things you didn’t even know you needed to ask.

The nurses filled you in on some things before you left the hospital, and you know the midwife said to call if you had questions, but you really hate to bother her over something that may be nothing. What is normal, what is not? Should I worry? Who can I ask? Maybe your own mom is too far away… or she didn’t breastfeed. Your sister or best friend is busy with her own family.

While expecting parents are seeking better support for labor and birth by hiring birth doulas, many do not realize the need for experienced postpartum care. A new baby brings much joy and excitement but it can also bring fatigue and stress. A postpartum doula can ease this transition by providing care you may not even realize you need.

What She Provides

A postpartum doula provides emotional and physical support to families after bringing home a new baby. Her role is different from family to family, day to day or even hour to hour, depending on the needs and challenges of each individual household.

She can provide advice for the new mom on caring for her baby as well as make suggestions for comfort and recovery from birth. She can help out with other children, do light household chores, or fix a meal so mom and dad can take time out for each other or baby’s siblings or just catch up on needed rest.

She can provide breastfeeding support or a listening ear if mom is feeling weepy and just needs to talk. She is a non-judgmental presence that can give guidance and encouragement to new parents just getting started on theĀ  path of parenting.

What She Doesn’t Do

A postpartum doula is not there to take over. She does not give out medical advice, however she can refer you to specialized care if needed

She does not take control of caring for the baby, but rather guides mom and dad to feel confident in their parenting. She provides short term relief from daily chores to give parents time to rest or to adjust and figure out their new “normal”.

Exploring Further

In addition to my labor support, I am now offering postpartum care. Hiring a postpartum doula to assist you after your birth is one of the best decisions you can make. If you are interested in finding out more about my services please contact me.