The time when baby is first brought home is a time of adjustment for the family. Whether first baby or not, it is a time of getting to know each other. Often it can also be a time of feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do or how to do it. A postpartum Doula can help you and your family through this time.
Postpartum Doulas are well trained in breastfeeding support as well as bottle feeding a baby. They can help parents learn about bathing and diapering. They are knowledgeable about ways to sooth a fussy baby. They can help new parents learn to recognize what is “normal” and what is cause for worry.
Postpartum Doulas offer very practical support in the home. Most are happy to help out with household tasks and light housekeeping such as washing the dishes left from dinner or catching up on baby’s laundry. They are happy to snuggle baby while mom gets a shower or takes a nap. The Doula may accompany mom on outings such as to doctors’ offices, etc. All Doulas help with the preparation of meals while she is in the home. Some Postpartum Doulas will even run small errands for the family such as to the grocery store or pharmacy. Postpartum Doulas also serve as an information resource for families. Many doulas have a library of parenting related books that they are willing to lend. Doulas keep up to date on what community resources are available to families.
Postpartum Doulas understand how important emotional support is at this time of transition in a family. A Doula will often spend time with mom just listening…to her story of how this child became a part of the family, to how she is feeling about the responsibilities of being a mom, to her fears about the changes and adjustments in the family. They help make sure that mom is taking care of herself, getting enough sleep, eating well, finding time to shower, etc. The Postpartum Doula is there to help support mom and dad in becoming the parents they want to be. She can answer questions about parenting based on her experience and knowledge but understands how important it is to supports the parents’ choices. The Doula does not take over the care of the baby. She guides and teaches by modeling newborn care. The goal of a Postpartum Doula is to leave a family feeling confident in their ability to take care of their baby when her job is over.