What is a postpartum doula?
Postpartum doulas assist families who are bringing home a new baby, whether through birth, adoption, or surrogacy. Research shows that parents and babies have an easier time with this transition if a good support team is in place. My role is to provide evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, parent–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care. Because I am also a social worker, I believe in the value of emotional presence, and strive to hold space for the abundance of emotions that a family may experience during the postpartum period.
How exactly will you support my family?
My role as your postpartum doula is always changing to fit the needs of your family. My top priority is supporting your attachment and bonding with your new child. My goal is never to take over complete care of the newborn, but rather to help you feel confident in your role as parents through education and support.
Oftentimes, keeping up with daily household tasks can feel next to impossible when caring for a newborn. I strive to take some of that pressure off your plate, so that you can focus on getting to know your baby. Those first few days and weeks of bonding are so important!
Some of the tasks I perform include:
– Breast/chest feeding support and education
– Encouraging parents to trust their instincts
– Infant sleep education
– Supporting siblings adjustment to and integration with new baby
– Providing support and information on emotional and physical recovery after birth
– Light housekeeping, grocery shopping/errands, baby’s laundry
– Preparing healthy, well-balanced meals
– Assistance with newborn care (diapering, bathing, feeding, soothing, etc.)
– Caring for baby while parents sleep, shower, and other self-care
– Nursery organization
– Referrals to local resources
– Screening for postpartum mood disorders
How long does a postpartum doula stay with a family?
Most postpartum doulas stay with a family anywhere from one week to three months after bringing home a new baby. The length of our contract is entirely up to you, and I am more than happy to customize care to each individual family’s needs.
What training does a postpartum doula have?
A doula must complete training in breast/chest-feeding, newborn care, communication, parenting philosophies, and the identification of postpartum mood disorders. The doula must also complete hands-on training with families, infant and child CPR certification, a comprehensive reading list on postpartum topics, a written exam, and must have evaluations from client families.