love, support, guidance, reassurance, comfort, understanding, empowerment, strength, companionship
Mothers who use a post-partum doula report increased confidence at 6 weeks post-partum versus those who do not.
Fathers report feeling more assured and have a MUCH easier transition returning to work knowing that all is taken care of at home.
roles of the post-partum doula
- teach you to trust your intuition and build confidence in your new role
- adjust your expectations of what's "normal" newborn behavior (understanding this can make all the difference!)
- creating space for you to understand your postpartum emotions and identity change
- light housework: baby laundry, dishes, walking a pet, etc.
- light meal preparation; errand running/grocery trips
- make sure your basic needs (nap, shower, food, hydration, socialization) are being met so you can transfer that care on to baby
- provide support and resources to minimize postpartum anxiety and mood disorders
- honor your birth story and process your labor experience
- answer questions & provide guidance related to mother & baby nutrition
- breastfeeding basics and troubleshooting
- teach you how to use your breastpump
- information about how to read your baby's cues for eating and sleeping
- reassure dad and answer his questions (help him know how to help mom!)
- offer guidance on family adjustments (older siblings)
- sibling attention or care while mom bonds with baby
- provide resources and referrals (massage, chiropractic care, support groups, postpartum exercise, etc.)
Other areas of expertise
cloth diapering; pumping & going back to work; baby wearing; infant sleep questions; cosleeping; baby calming techniques
What Do I Do As A Postpartum Doula?
The short answer is, I do whatever enables you, as a new mom, to heal and confidently care for your baby. I help with tasks around the house, provide education, listen while you vent or cry...but it goes SO beyond what you may physically see a doula do.
My job as a doula is a dance between guiding you and giving you the space to find the answers for yourself. As a doula, it is my job not to tell you what to do or how to mother, but to nurture the confidence in the way you are already choosing to do things. I help you sort through the BS advice and find what truly seems to be resonating for YOU and your individual baby and family. Postpartum doulas are a buffer to the outside opinions- when I come in, my presence creates a calmness and the feeling of this person is going through this WITH us. We’re not alone. Doulas have the training and experience, yet they aren’t imposing answers on you.
What I provide for each woman is different because it is my job to meet you where you are. Each postpartum woman’s needs have similarities, but are unique to that woman as an individual.
The role of the postpartum doula is SO multi-dimensional and individualized, just as each new mom and baby are.