When you hear the word “postpartum”, your first thought it often Postpartum Depression. Not many people associate it with its literal meaning “following childbirth”, which is the time period mothers and families need the most help on their parenthood journey. In comes the Postpartum Doula!
She empowers the mother, supports her, and guides her through the amazing transition of motherhood. A Postpartum Doula’s duties allow the mother to mentally and physically recover from childbirth while creating an everlasting bond with her new child.
- Postpartum Doulas are not just for those who have Postpartum Depression or an issue arises.
They also provide:
- Newborn Education
- Making sure the mother is fed, well-hydrated, and comfortable
- Compassionate emotional support, encouragement, and positive affirmations
- Light household chores such as: cooking, laundry, dishes, picking up/organizing, nursery organization, pet care, quick food/pharmacy shopping, running errands
- Preparation of bottles and washing/cleaning/sterilizing
- Short infant care so mama can shower, go for a walk, or just have a few minutes to herself
- Screening for postpartum depression
- Referrals to local resources
- Postpartum Doulas are for all types of families.
Whether you are the birth parents, adoptive parents, a surrogate mother, lost a child during pregnancy or birth, a Postpartum Doula can help. Adoptive families still need help transitioning with their newest addition. Surrogate mothers still need help recovering and healing from childbirth. Loss families need time to recover from childbirth and grieve, while trying to stay healthy. A Postpartum Doula has the ability to help all types of families.
- A Postpartum Doula provides help for first time families and experienced families.
The Postpartum Doula can help with older siblings, refresh parent’s memories, introduce new ideas, provide current research on various topics, help around the house, and so much more!
- Postpartum Doulas help mom and families bond.
Therefore, they don’t babysit. They may hold the baby so Mom can shower, take a short nap, or go for a walk to get some fresh air. However, Postpartum Doulas do not watch the baby so Mom or dad can go food shopping, go out with friends, have a date night, etc.
- Postpartum Doulas help around the house so families can focus on their new baby.
But please don’t confuse them with a cleaning service. Postpartum Doula will do light laundry, some dishes, nursery organizing. Most will not scrub floors, toilets, windows, yard work, floorboards, dust, etc. Ask your Doula what they will and will not do.
- Postpartum Doulas support all parenting philosophies.
They are trained for both breastfeeding and bottle feeding, cloth and disposable diapers, co-sleeping and crib sleeping. A Postpartum Doula’s philosophy is the mother’s philosophy at that Moment. Their job is to provide resources and unbiased information and allow the parents to decide for themselves which direction they want to go in. They don’t push philosophies, but may open doors to new ideas.
- Postpartum Doulas focus on Mom and the family as a whole, not just the baby.
A Postpartum Doula provides the tools and resources to Moms and families to care for their new baby on their own. By the time the Doula leaves, the families have the confidence to continue on their own. Nighttime care may include bringing the baby to the Mom to nurse, or make the bottle while Mom holds baby, and then brings the baby back to the crib/basinet. Maybe give the Mom a shoulder massage, get her a snack, a glass of water. Again, the focus is caring for the mom and family as a whole, not just taking care of the baby.