You have probably heard of a birth doula, a supportive trained professional, who can advocate for the birthing parent and help guide them through the labor process. But maybe you haven’t heard of a postpartum doula. What is this other doula, you may ask?
A postpartum doula’s job is to facilitate your new role as a parent in the early weeks and months, helping with the transition involved in making space for your new family member. Those early days, when everything you figure out changes day to day; when you are so sleep deprived you can’t remember your name; when it feels like the baby will never eat, sleep, or just be with any sort of regularity. A postpartum doula is there to help with all of that.
Many people spend great time and energy managing pregnancy and preparing for the birth, and they forget to plan for the actual baby!
The postpartum doula is there is help you have a smooth(er) adjustment to new parenthood. Studies have shown that new parents who have social support during the postpartum period tend to have less postpartum depression, breastfeed for a longer duration, and make a better adjustment to parenthood.
Here are some important ways a postpartum doula can help you adjust:
- assistance with breastfeeding, bottlefeeding and/or pumping
- information about breast care/issues
- guidance with sleep and soothing techniques
- vegetarian meal planning/preparation
- light housekeeping
- instructions on baby wearing
- creating plans for the birth parent’s health and wellness
- support around the birth experience/recovery
- partner inclusion around bonding and caring for the new baby
- 24/7 support via phone or email
Feel free to contact me with any further questions about what a postpartum doula can do for your family, or to have a free in home consult before your baby is born.