Have you taken a moment to consider what life will be like after the birth of your baby? Bringing a new baby home means learning to care for your new bundle of joy while simultaneously recovering from giving birth and also navigating changes in your day to day routine. Even for experienced parents, this time can be a bit chaotic.
When I share with people what it is that I do as a Postpartum and Infant Care Doula, I frequently hear “I would have loved to have that after I had my babies!” This idea of having support after coming home with a new baby is certainly catching on as many families are hiring postpartum doulas, however it is also frequently misunderstood.
It isn’t something for spoiled, entitled millennials to indulge. It is so much more. It is a service provided by a trained professional, that mimics the village that once surrounded women, in order to help new parents feel confident and to thrive. It is investing in yourself and making yourself a priority.
So, what is a Postpartum Doula? Why are so many people seeking the service of postpartum support from a professionally trained Postpartum Doula?
Allow me to share the ways Postpartum Doulas support families as they R.O.C.K. parenting their infant.
R: Respect for Your Choices
Being a parent means you will be faced with so many choices.
Postpartum Doulas trust that you are capable of making the best decision for yourself, your baby, and your family. When you are unsure, we are happy to discuss options and allow you time to decide what feels best to you. When you change your mind about something you previously thought you wanted to do, we will support you without questioning your decisions.
Many families find that having a plan in place helps keep everything running smoothly. When working with clients we are able to help set up systems that allow them to recover from birth and parent in a way that feels best to them.
This may include: setting up meal plans or meal trains, setting up diaper changing stations or feeding stations throughout the home, as well as discussing ways to be prepared for leaving the house with baby in tow.
C: Continuity of Care AND Completion of Tasks
Perhaps one of the most important things a Postpartum Doula does is provide care during a time when most people need it. A time that can be lonely for new parents. From pregnancy to delivery there is a lot of focus put on caring for the mother-to-be. She is typically following up with her care provider weekly and is surrounded by the knowledgeable nursing staff throughout the delivery and the days leading up to discharge.
After leaving the hospital a new mother may not see her care provider again for several weeks. She may feel isolated and unprepared these first several days postpartum. Having a Postpartum Doula can be a key component to an easier postpartum recovery. Postpartum Doulas understand the emotional aspects of being a new parent. Lack of sleep and hormonal shifts may lead to postpartum depression, anxiety, or other postpartum mood disorders. We are specifically trained to recognize behaviors out of the norm and will happily make referrals to area professionals.
While in your home we are happy to fold a basket of laundry or load your dishwasher; we can care for your baby while you rest; we can accompany you on outings or complete errands and grocery shop for you. Assisting with these simple tasks so our clients have one less worry, can be such a relief.
Wouldn’t it be nice if babies came with an instruction manual? A Postpartum Doula can help you begin to learn and understand some of your baby’s cues such as when he is hungry or when she is sleepy. We are happy to show you techniques for comforting your baby.
Because every family’s philosophy differs, a doula must be knowledgeable about many topics surrounding postpartum recovery and infant care. We choose to stay up to date on current safety recommendations, as well as being familiar with care providers and services in our communities that may be of interest to our clients.
Our expertise allows us to answer questions like “Will a pacifier cause nipple confusion?” or “How can I teach my baby healthy sleep habits while following safe sleep guidelines?” We are happy help you find answers to your questions.
A Postpartum Doula prioritizes physical, emotional, and informational support for the entire family. The doula’s presence allows parents to feel supported in their choices and philosophies and at ease knowing their family is in the capable hands of a trained professional. We already know you are going to ROCK this parenting thing!