If you are pregnant or have done any reading on pregnancy or childbirth, you have likely encountered the term “doula.” The word usually evokes images of firm massages, encouraging words in a gentle voice, and a strong hand to hold when the work gets hard. But did you know that you can experience the same unwavering, kind, nonjudgmental support in the days, weeks, or even months after you bring your baby home?
A postpartum doula can help create a beautiful newborn phase for a family. Newborns do get a bad rap. They are tiny, needy, sometimes mysterious, and often sleepless. They bring with them many decisions to make. Where will he sleep? How will he feed? Vaccinations, or not? Slings or swings? Then there is the seemingly endless list of products to buy. (Don’t worry; you don’t need every gadget on the shelf!) However, these little ones are also sweet and beautiful. They can bring joy and love and a home full of excitement. With expertise and a caring approach, a postpartum doula can help you make the most of your postpartum time, while bolstering your confidence, supporting your choices, and helping you get the sleep you desperately need to heal and to parent well.
The doula who specializes in postpartum care has received specific training in the needs of the newborn and the newly postpartum family. She has a special love for growing families and desires to see each client have a restful, positive experience with a new little family member. Postpartum care looks different for every family. Here are a few benefits that many families appreciate:
· The postpartum doula gives you a safe place to process your birth story. Whether your birth was traumatic or went completely as planned, your birth story is an important part of who you are as a parent. Telling your story and being affirmed in your experience can be valuable.
· The postpartum doula provides encouragement and compassion as you navigate a new experience. The newborn phase might be completely new territory for you, but your doula is well trained and knowledgeable about newborn care, home management, and postpartum healing. Even if you have older children, each experience is new and brings new challenges.
· In a sea of voices and information where everyone has an opinion, your postpartum doula provides nonjudgmental support of your choices and your goals as a family.
· The doula can care for your new baby while you rest, shower, spend time with your other children, or simply have alone time.
· In other instances, you may wish to do all the baby care, cuddle and bond with your child, while your postpartum doula takes care of the daily tasks around your home. For example, a meal in the oven, a freshly made bed, or a folded basket of clean laundry can go a long way in giving you peace of mind.
· The postpartum doula is trained in breastfeeding support. She can help you with positioning, latching, and trouble-shooting difficulties. If you choose to formula feed or use combined feeding methods, she can support you in that choice as well.
· The postpartum doula is trained to recognize signs of postpartum mood changes. She can help you evaluate your emotional needs and explore options if you need additional support for the common struggles of postpartum blues or depression.
· A doula can provide information, answer your questions, and refer you to local resources.
· Most importantly, your postpartum doula allows you to rest and heal, to begin your time as a new family stress-free!
Blessed Arrivals staffs several postpartum doulas who are available to provide specialized care for the early days of your life with a new baby. One satisfied client wrote, “I hoped that having a doula would take away some of the stresses that I would encounter welcoming a newborn into the family. Having [a doula] with us did reduce the stress and allow us to enjoy our new baby.” That’s what postpartum doulas are all about! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.