What is a Postpartum Doula?
Ah, the term that makes everyone scratch their head and ask: What is that? Is that for postpartum depression? Are you the person that helps a mom during her birth? The term “POSTPARTUM DOULA” is a scarcely known title, but it’s a term everyone should and will hopefully know soon, as a more holistic and comprehensive approach to care of the new mother and baby makes its move in our community.
The usual routine to have a baby is: check into the hospital, deliver your baby, and in 2-3 days you are sent home abruptly, wide eyed, nervous, exhausted, and just barely getting the hang of breastfeeding, interrupted sleep patterns, and how to change a newborn’s diaper. Parents or in-laws may greet you at home, stay for a week, then your partner or husband heads back to work, and you (the new mother) are left to tend to life with a newborn on your own. (Deep breath!!) Some moms have no problems, and have an effortless transition to this new life. However, most new mothers (even if their social media accounts portray otherwise), need some kind of support beyond the hospital, whether it be emotional, physical healing, or hands-on help and advice with the new baby. This is where the POSTPARTUM DOULA steps in.
Simply stated, a Postpartum (meaning “after the delivery of the baby”) and Doula (meaning woman who helps another woman) is a professional that helps the mom (and dad) with the care of the new baby, after delivery. The help can include anything from breastfeeding support, to light housework, errand running, overnight care so mom can rest, and advice on when to notify a provider if they notice an issue that could be of concern. (I personally get phone calls and text pics all the time from new moms just needing to know if something is “normal” or not before they call their doctor, including: umbilical cord stumps, skin rashes, questions about nipples and breastfeeding, baby poop, and sleep training, just to name a few). It’s so nice to have a professional person you can “run your questions past” before calling your provider.
My hope and dream is that every new family will know the term “Postpartum Doula”, and be able to have one present, for as long as they need, after the baby is born. What is often a vulnerable and fragile time in a new mother’s life, can be turned into a blissful and amazing experience with help. The happiest time in your life should be when your baby is born, and you bring that beautiful bundle of a miracle home to love.
Postpartum doulas make life a lot easier and I hear often from my clients “I don’t know what we would have done without your help.”
A Postpartum Doula is an essential and amazing asset to this experience. You can find out more about what a Postpartum Doula does and how we can personally be there for you after the birth of your baby at our website http://www.thenewbornnurse.com.
“New mothers need to be mothered, to be nurtured and cared for by a support network that assists with physical recovery from birth, transition into infant care, and the immense psychological leap into a new role.”- Lauren Porter