Though the act of being a doula, supporting another woman as she gives birth to her baby, has been commonly practiced across many cultures for, well, forever, many people still haven’t heard of the term doula.
A birth/labor doula supports a woman as she prepares to deliver her baby and accompanies her to the birth. She may offer suggestions to help keep the mother comfortable or provide information to answer the expecting parents’ questions. The doula’s presence often increases the parents’ confidence. Many families report having a more memorable, positive, and empowering experience when having a doula present for the birth of their child.
Being asked to be someone’s doula; being present and witnessing families welcoming a child; providing support and encouragement in moments of doubt is an honor.
Having been a doula for over four years I have come to realize once the baby is born there is a disconnect in support. I experienced it. Many women experience it. So much focus is put on pregnancy and the delivery, while little thought is given to the postpartum period.
Have you heard of a professional support person coming into the homes of new parents to help with the physical and emotional needs of new parents? Offering suggestions, providing information, increasing parent’s confidence, to create a more memorable, positive, and powering experience, throughout the early days of parenting. A continuation of the same support the birth/labor doula provides.
So often when I tell people I provide postpartum support to new families as a Postpartum and Infant Care Doula, I get responses from people about postpartum depression. “I had postpartum (depression)”, “I didn’t have postpartum (depression)”, “I know someone who had postpartum (depression)”, etc.
When people hear the word postpartum they often automatically think postpartum depression. Perhaps that is because 1 in 7 women experience postpartum depression, and up to 80% of women experience negative feelings or mood swings after having a baby.
However, the term “postpartum” refers to the period of time after having a baby. In other words post-pregnancy. Therefore anyone who has had a baby has had “postpartum”.
The postpartum services I provide as a Postpartum and Infant Care Doula are for all new parents, not just those experiencing postpartum depression.
Bringing a baby home can be quite intimidating. New mothers are left to figure everything out while also trying to heal their own body. At Central Nebraska Doula our focus is on caring for the entire family.
A Postpartum and Infant Care Doula is trained to be able to offer support to aid in a smoother transition for families. We understand the unique needs of new parents and are able to lend an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a hand to help. We connect with new parents and provide support free of judgment for all parenting choices and philosophies.
Having the support of a professional Postpartum and Infant Care Doula can look different for each family based on their unique needs.
Sometimes this support looks like sitting on the sofa listening to a new mother talk about her birth or adoption experience or how being a parent is so much different than she thought it would be.
Sometimes this support looks like answering questions about all the parenting gear that is available and what items would be most helpful.
Sometimes this support looks like accompanying and assisting a new parent on an outing.
Sometimes this support looks like answering questions about formula feeding, breastfeeding, or milk expression.
Sometimes this support looks like assisting with newborn care including bathing, diapering, swaddling, feeding and sleep.
Sometimes this support looks like providing care for a new baby (or babies) overnight so parents can rest.
Sometimes this support looks like caring for older siblings.
Sometimes this support looks like nourishing the family by preparing a meal or snack.
Sometimes this support looks like performing practical tasks such as loading the dishwasher or folding some laundry.
Even for an experienced parent, assistance from a Postpartum and Infant Care doula, can be helpful while juggling all of the demands of parenthood.
Sound good? We think so! Whether you are looking for help during the day, overnight, just for a couple days, or many months, Central Nebraska Doula is ready to help! Contact us today!