What is a doula?

A doula is a non-medical person who supports mothers in labor during birth and after. Postpartum doulas continue to nurture growing families after the baby is born.

What do postpartum doulas do?

A postpartum doula’s job changes as a family’s needs change.  The doula provides transitional support in the early days of having a new baby.

Do doulas work days or nights?

Both!

can help adoptive parents meet the requirements of many adoption agencies.

A daytime postpartum doula offers emotional and breastfeeding support. The doula teaches newborn care, does light housekeeping and tasks, helps with the baby’s siblings, prepares meals. The doula is primarily there to “mother the mother. ” The doula may accompany mom on outings such as to doctors’ offices, provide resources or information on infant care, postpartum depression, breastfeeding, etc.

A overnight postpartum doula continues to offer support to the mother but also helps the family get much needed sleep by caring for the baby as needed at night. As the baby ages – the doula helps the baby develop healthy sleep habits while helping the family learn how to support these habits.

Who needs a postpartum doula?

Any family looking for a smoother transition into parenting! First time parents find the educational support invaluable. Families with twins or older children will welcome the extra hands. A postpartum doula may also be required for a woman who has a surgical or complicated birth. Adoptive parents find the services of a doula help them through the transition of bringing a new baby into the family.

We are adopting a baby. Can a postpartum doula help us?

Yes! Parents who add to their families through adoption or surrogacy will benefit greatly from a postpartum doula.  The doulas support in bonding can be even more crucial for adoptive families who did not have the opportunity to get to know their child while in the womb. In addition, Austin Baby Guru classes meet the requirements of most agencies.

We need sleep! Can a postpartum doula help our newborn sleep through the night?

Over time, your baby will learn to sleep. Unfortunately, babies do not start to regulate sleep patterns until eight to ten weeks of age. During this time, your best bet for a good night’s sleep for yourself is to have overnight help. Sleep deprivation is a serious handicap to your own good health. Austin Baby Guru specializes in postpartum care because we know how important it is for growing families to get adequate rest.

Does a doula replace the help of family and grandparents?

Our postpartum doulas are professionals who come ready to assist the family with evidenced-based knowledge, experience, and non-judgmental support. We work with the whole family, supporting partners or grandparents in helping mom and bonding with the baby. We also support siblings in the adjustment of having a baby in the house.

What if my husband doesn’t want a doula?

Dads are often concerned about the expense of a postpartum doula. We encourage families to accept the help of family and friends. Sometimes, though, family is not available to help or the type of help offered is not what the new mother needs most. A postpartum doula, by offering safety and care information and by making sure the family gets adequate rest, can significantly increase the health and well-being of the entire household during this once in a lifetime transition.

When should I hire a postpartum doula?

Austin Baby Guru recommends that you hire your postpartum care early, preferably by the beginning of your third trimester, because our doulas’ schedules often will fill up. It is fine to call us at any time, though, to see if we have availability. We have had some clients hire us in the third month and others call after the baby was born.

How long does a family need a postpartum doula?

While our main focus is in helping families through the early postpartum time averaging 1-6 weeks, sometimes parents want more time to fully adjust to the new family dynamic. We work with families anywhere from one week to six months. Our goal is to support the family in getting enough sleep, healing from the birth, learning parenting skills, and finding their way in how they want to parent…all working towards leaving the family feeling competent and prepared for parenting on their own.

Are postpartum doulas licensed?

There is no license for doulas available. There are a few nationally recognized organizations that offer certification and training.  Some doulas choose not to certify. All of our doulas have experience working with newborns and growing families. Austin Baby Guru also offers their own doula training to ensure that all our doulas are fully prepared to support our families.

What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby nurse or nanny?

Postpartum doulas are specifically trained and experienced professionals who help new parents through education, information, and support. Their focus is on the whole family, providing care and support, assisting the family wherever help might be needed, allowing mom to recover from birth while supporting the family in adjusting to the change of having a new baby. This is a short term position. A postpartum doula’s goal is to “work herself out of a job.”

A baby nurse or night nanny is focused on the care of the baby only. Often this is a long term position, where the caregiver takes over care of the infant.

If we have a postpartum doula, do we still need a night nurse or nanny?

No. A postpartum doula will provide care for your baby throughout the night as well as supporting the mother in breastfeeding and learning nighttime care.

What about volunteer doulas?

There are some wonderful associations in Austin that provide volunteer birth doulas who support women during birth. As a general rule, they do not supply postpartum support. Austin Baby Guru specializes in postpartum care.

What methods of payments do you accept?

We accept cash, personal checks, and credit cards used through my site. We invoice every Monday with payments due on Thursdays.

I live on the edge of town. Where exactly is your service area?

Austin Baby Guru is happy to serve most Austin area locations. We may charge a small travel fee per visit for areas that are South of William Cannon, West of Loop 360, North of Pflugerville, or East of Austin city limits.