Postpartum Doulas – said to assist with sleep training, meal-prep, light housework, and…giving me time to take a shower? “Wait, so this person is basically a sweet angel sent to guide me through all of these questions I have about myself and my baby once we get home from the hospital?” Yes. Yes we are.
A postpartum doula helps you answer that inevitable question: My baby is here, now what? Having a baby does not end with delivery. Too often mothers and their partners are left unaided when they bring their new baby home, uncertain what to do next. A postpartum doula steps into this void.
A good postpartum doula will match your parenting philosophies, offer advice, and assist your family in the comfort of your home. Feeling low on energy, sore, and hormonal? Yep, sounds like you just had a baby. This is all normal, but it is also where the help of a doula goes a long way. Let’s say you throw a cesarean incision into the mix, or if you have no family or friends nearby who can lend a hand with that ever-growing pile of laundry on your floor. Has your back started hurting since your partner went back to work and can’t hand you those extra pillows after you’ve started breastfeeding? Concerned about the amount of blood showing up on that ultra-thick pad your doctor has you wearing (aren’t babies the ones supposed to be wearing diapers)? Can’t find the time to cook for yourself during baby’s nap time and tired of sending for those home delivery meals? Postpartum doulas can help with that to-do list, and we have the answers to A LOT of those questions. Not to worry…we also have a list of resources to share when we don’t have the answers.
I believe one of the most important items on your “which doula is right for me” checklist should be personality. Credentials are important, but if you are not personally comfortable with your doula, then they may not be very helpful during times of pregnancy-related stress. Postpartum can be a time of stress, anxiety, and emotion. A good personality fit makes all the difference. When interviewing (ideally in person), ask your postpartum doula if they are insured. What is their availability? Do they also offer labor support? If so, what does this look like if they are called into a birth? What is your doula’s protocol if they get sick or if someone in your household gets sick? Until what age do you extend care for my child? Postpartum doulas are not glorified babysitters. We are professionally trained support personnel who are educated about birth and more. From breastfeeding techniques to recommendations for smoother and faster healing from your delivery (and who doesn’t want their own personal swaddling guru?), postpartum doulas are here to help make the space where you live with your new baby feel like the healing, nurturing, and loving home you imagined.