Wouldn’t you like to have a Postpartum Doula?
‘You’re a postpartum doula – it’s so wonderful that women with postpartum depression can have your loving support.’
I often hear this type of comment when discussing my work as a postpartum doula. Very often, people equate the word postpartum with depression, however, the true meaning of the word is ‘following childbirth’ – which has nothing to do with depression. While it is true that women with postpartum depression can greatly benefit from having a doula, so can all new moms and their partners.
Why Would I Need a Postpartum Doula?
For the last 266 days, you have been minutely planning for your baby. You have been filling out your pregnancy journal, attending prenatal classes, meeting with your birth doula, and buying all the various baby gear Junior is going to need. But you, as well as most other parents-to-be, probably haven’t prepared much for when baby actually arrives. As one of my mentors is fond of saying: the bride and groom prepare for the wedding day, but not for the marriage!
When you arrive home with baby, you may find yourself feeling elated but at the same time exhausted, overwhelmed and perhaps doubting your ability to care for your baby. These feelings can arise for a number of reasons, particularly if breastfeeding got off to a rocky start, you have limited help following the birth, or if your birth did not unfold as you had planned. These are very normal feelings for many new moms and it’s OK – and smart – to ask for help before you feel that you have hit rock bottom.
Postpartum Doula to the Rescue
As a postpartum doula, I love nurturing each new family, simplifying their lives so that these first few precious weeks following the birth, known as the babymoon, can be a happy and restful period. You and baby can get to know each other and you and your partner can adjust to your new life as parents. There’s a lot to process and learn after giving birth; an extra set of ears and hands can make a positive difference in how you experience this time.
Top 5 Things a Postpartum Doula Gives You
- Answers to your questions: Whether you are enquiring about feeding, pumping, sleeping, bathing, or basic baby care, it’s nice to have advice on what’s normal and what isn’t.
- Help with breastfeeding: for some moms, breastfeeding can be very challenging and having someone to guide you and provide you with one-on-one support can make feeding easier.
- Time for yourself: new parents are exhausted and don’t have a lot of time or energy to take care of themselves, so, having someone take care of baby allows you to nap, shower, eat or even go out on a date.
- An attentive ear: You will be telling your baby’s birth story many times over for the rest of your life, so whether you had a fantastic birth experience or if it didn’t go as planned, talking about it with someone who is non-judgmental and understands what you went through can be very uplifting and healing.
- Access to helpful resources: Looking for a lactation consultant? An osteopath specializing in babies? A dentist to take care of baby’s tongue tie? Look no further. I can put you in touch with specialists who will be able to help in any given situation.
Postpartum Doulas also do a lot more depending on what is needed on a given day: run to the grocery store to pick-up a few things for dinner, prepare a light meal, or even tidy your house while you nap. My mission is that you are rested, energized, and feel that you can get through whatever this exciting babymoon brings you…at least until my next visit!
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