Who are we and what sets us apart from other support networks?
When I say I am a postpartum Doula, the most common question I get asked is, “What is that?”The second question is, “What do you do?” Or, “How are you different than say, a babysitter or housekeeper?”
So, what is a Doula, and what makes us different?
A postpartum Doula is there for the Mother and her family in the first few months after the birth of her child. With the mother as her priority, she is there to support her physically, emotionally, and with the newborn. The help that is offered will differ from mother to mother, depending on her needs. There is no one-size-fits-all, and every visit will be tailored to the needs of that mother, on that day. Doulas also offer evidence-based information on topics such as feeding, emotional and physical support for mom after birth, mom and baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.
Here are a few examples of how a Doula might assist you:
- Helping you with basic newborn soothing techniques to help baby feel more settled, and putting mama (and her partner) more at ease.
- Assisting in feeding support – whether that is a breastfeeding latch, or preparing formula. No judgement zone here!
- Normalizing everyday physical and/or emotional concerns, and knowing when to refer out.
- Caring for the baby while the parent(s) rest, shower, eat, or all of the above.
- Caring for an older sibling, by taking to the park or out for a walk.
- Picking up groceries and preparing meals.
- Tidying up the home with no judgement or agenda.
- LISTENING to you, Mama. A non-judgemental, arms-length confidante for you to air out all of your concerns, thoughts, and deepest feelings.
- Helping you and your family during this overwhelming time to ease you into parenthood or into your growing family. A Doula assists and supports your family so your home can achieve the serenity it deserves.
Most likely, if you are like 99.9% of women postpartum, your hormones will be all over the place. You will be exhausted, irritable, and overwhelmed. Maybe you’re more often than not, half topless. Or maybe you’re in dire need of a shower, but you would rather close your eyes for five minutes. You turn away help from family members or friends because you feel like you are a bit of a mess. It is in these times that a Doula is there for you. She does not care if you have decided to completely pitch the shirt after the third time the baby has thrown up or pooped on you. She is someone you can be completely yourself with… unfiltered. She is a vault. Your secrets are safe with her, and she will be there to support and guide you through this amazing, but overwhelming time. She will not tell you what you ”should” do, or ever push any beliefs on you. She will listen to you, she will respect your Mama instincts, and she will support you, in all of your thoughts and decisions.
Think about what you feel you may need once you bring baby home, and if you find yourself nodding your head at a few of these things listed above, then maybe a Doula is right for you. Reach out. I offer free consultations — talk to me and ask me your questions.
If you do decide to go this route, find someone that you connect with. So much of what we do is up close and personal. You need to feel safe and at ease with your Doula.
So, Mama, if you need support during this time, treat yourself. You deserve it. Your Doula will be your space holder — your cheerleader and your non-judgemental helper.
We will do this together.