A Postpartum Doula provides evidenced based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, family–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.
A Postpartum Doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks (sometimes referred to as the "fourth trimester") after bringing home a new baby. Research shows that new families have an easier time with this transition if a good support team is in place.
Postpartum Doula services are tailored to meet YOUR needs and can include newborn care, breastfeeding support, assistance with family adjustment, emotional support, sibling care, light housekeeping, and more.
What is the difference between a Postpartum Doula & a Baby Nurse?
The Postpartum Doula's role is to support the FAMILY (including mom, dad, siblings, and of course baby). Unlike a baby nurse whose sole focus is the new baby, the Doula is there to support the new unit throughout the postpartum period and help the family as a whole.
She will help the new them with whatever they need to keep the house running smoothly and this may include tidying up the house, baby laundry or running errands. A doula also helps with older children, playing and entertaining them so mom can take a shower, breastfeed without interruptions or take a much needed nap.
Who needs a Postpartum Doula?
Any family that would like a smoother transition during the postpartum period. First-time mothers welcome the care during the early days of new parenting. A Doula may be especially helpful for families having twins, multiple births, or families who have older children. A Postpartum Doula may also be required for a woman who has a caesarean section or a complicated birth (I know I wished I had one after my emergency cesarean).
Families going through adoption or surrogacy also benefit from a Doula. The Doula's assistance in bonding can be even more crucial for adoptive families who did not have the opportunity to get to know their child while in the womb.
When should I hire a postpartum Doula?
This is completely up to you. Ideally, it would be best to hire your postpartum doula before your baby arrives. However, sometimes parents hire their Doula after their baby has been born and they then decide they would benefit from the services of a postpartum doula.
It is NEVER too soon to secure the services of a postpartum doula. I am an independent Doula and scheduling is done on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, it would be best to call with your expected delivery date as soon as you have determined that you really do need a doula, have interviewed me and decided, yes, you would like to retain my services.
How long does a family typically hire a Postpartum Doula for and how long does the Doula spend with a new mom each day?
This depends entirely on the needs of the individual. A Postpartum Doula is typically hired from between 2-6 weeks. Again, how long the Doula is hired for on a daily basis depends entirely upon the needs of the family. Many schedule a four-hour visit, 3-5 times per week.
• Extra physical and emotional support for new family
• Breastfeeding support and education
• Newborn care instruction
• Nursery management
• Empathetic listener
• Relief from feeling alone
• Decreased Postpartum Mood Disorders
• Allows for more quality, stress-free time with baby
• Smooth the transition to new parenthood
• Allows more time for the postpartum parent to rest and heal
• Provides evidence-based knowledge to family
• Allows more time to spend with other children
• Coordination of help and support of friends and family
• Light housekeeping
• Meal preparation
• Access to needed resources in community
• Mothering and nurturing the newly postpartum parent
• Medical tasks or diagnoses are not in the Scope of Practice of a Doula. Instead, I will provide information about resources and how to access the best information and support for parents.
• I will not drive you or your family in MY car.
• I will not judge you or your informed decisions.
• I will not take over the total care of your baby, but will be there to allow you to rest or pamper yourself with a nap or shower.
Remember that being able to "do it alone" is NOT a sign of strength. New parents were not meant to be alone during the "fourth trimester". It is a sign of wisdom and strength to gather support so that your new baby can be welcomed into an environment where his/her family is calm, rested, and supported.
For more information about the benefits of a postpartum doula, please go to the DONA (Doulas of North America) website to read their position paper on Postpartum Doulas.
If you're interested in finding out more about what I do as a Postpartum Doula then check out my services and prices.
I currently have a temporary low fee of only $15 an hour while I finish certification with BAI (Birth Arts International)