Things have been quiet around here again! I’ve been working feverishly on a GentleBirth VBAC course that I’ll be announcing soon! So excited! But in the meantime, let’s talk about postpartum. Here's what I've said about it before.
Everyone knows that having a baby is amazing and a huge life change. More and more families are realizing that having a doula along for their birth can make an incredible difference in outcomes and how they feel about that very physical shift to parenthood. But what about after you bring that baby home? Those first few weeks or months with a new baby are amazing! You are adjusting to adding a new person to your family and having a tiny person be completely dependent on you. Sometimes it can be a little overwhelming and incredibly hard. A postpartum doula can help. Here are five reasons to hire a postpartum doula:
1) You were never meant to do it alone. It used to be that the women in the family or community came around new mothers and supported them physically and emotionally through those early weeks. Some cultures still have traditions that involve caring for the new mother those first 40 or so days after birth. Here in the US, many women are not close enough to their families for that to be practical. Also, many new grandmothers are still in the midst of their own careers and it’s not possible for them to take that time off either. As a postpartum doula, I can help fill some of that space.
2) There are lots of questions. Bringing a new baby home, especially your first baby, makes you realize all the things you'd didn’t know. Even if you read every book and have been around lots of babies, there is something about having your own and that tiny person completely dependent on you that makes you realize just how much you’re winging it. As your birth doula I can be helpful for all those questions too but as a postpartum doula, I can be with you and offer in person support.
3) She’s there to support YOU. You make the decisions. You ask the questions. It’s your baby. I’m just there to give you information and help you along the road. Sometimes (always) well meaning friends and family have opinions. Sometimes those opinions are helpful. Sometimes they are so not helpful. As a postpartum doula, it’s my job to support what YOU want.
4). Hands on real help. Need a nap or a shower? I can make sure that happens. Did your toddler absolutely destroy your house while you were breastfeeding? I can fix that. Have you been surviving on instant oatmeal because you can make it with one hand? I even do some meal prep and a quick run to the grocery store.
5) I’m there to listen to you. After you have a baby, your hormones are going wild for awhile. Often that brings some emotional upheaval. Add in maybe a birth that didn’t go quite how you wanted it to or care providers that were less than amazing and you might be working through some stuff along with those crazy hormones. Sometimes the people we love are so excited about the baby, they forget about the process you, the birthing woman, went through. Baby is here and well so let’s move on. They mean well, but that’s not always helpful from an emotional perspective. In addition to the practical stuff I do, I’m also a shoulder to lean on and an impartial person to process with and I can help you find additional resources if you need more than I can offer.
This list is just FIVE reasons to hire a postpartum doula. There are plenty more. Postpartum doulas work is focused on the early weeks of bringing a new little one home but work with families as long as they need them. Personally, I love being able to work with families as their birth doula and then also postpartum. To watch the journey of excited expectant parents to confident mother is pretty incredible. Find out more about how I can support you postpartum or my postpartum planning services.
Adina Nelson, CD(DONA)
I am a birth & postpartum doula and chlidbirth educator practicing in North Idaho.
She was there every step of the way for me and my husband...I thank Adina for everything she helped us with. She truly is a special person and we will be forever grateful for her! ~Erin