Postpartum Doulas Do That!

August 8, 2016

Congratulations! Your family is growing! You have done all you can to prepare for the birth that's best for your family. Perhaps you have taken childbirth education classes, hired a birth doula (which I highly suggest), researched your options, made a birth plan, and perhaps finished the nursery and packed your bags. That really is phenomenal!

But what about after your birth? As a postpartum doula, I often meet with families prenatally to discuss their options for immediate baby care after delivery and the remainder of their stay at the hospital, as well as help the family prepare for welcoming a new baby into their home. Other times I get an email or a call from families that already have their sweet baby, and really need the extra support in the postpartum period.

As I work with these families, I often hear them say, "Wow! I didn't know a postpartum doula does that!" I will admit that after having two babies myself, with a birth doula in attendance, I didn't even know a postpartum doula existed until I became a doula myself! So here is what a postpartum doula does:

  • I come either to your home or hospital, day or night, depending on your needs to help with transitioning into parenthood.
  • I have experience with twins, multiples, and special care newborns.
  • I focus on the new mother. While most professionals will focus on the health and wellness of the baby, I ensure mom is resting, nourished, educated, and feeling supported in this journey. I can give a new mother a chance to take a shower on her own, or teach her a new breastfeeding position to make feeding easier. I also know the signs and symptoms of things to watch for while mom recovers from birth and provide reputable referrals as needed if I notice a developing health concern or postpartum mood disorders like depression or anxiety.
  • I provide education and help with newborn basic care, including assistance with breast or bottle feeding, newborn bathing, baby wearing skills, and soothing and sleep tips for newborns.
  • I provide light housework. Typically this includes preparing a meal, starting a load of laundry, tidying up the diaper area, and washing bottles and pump parts. 
  • I stay up at night with the baby and allow new parents to get some sleep. I either feed the baby with bottles or bring the baby to you when it's time to eat, and then assist with diaper changes and getting the baby back to sleep.
  • For parents who already have older children I like to work on a plan for sibling adjustment and make it an easier transition for other children.

Had I known about postpartum doulas, I would have hired one for both postpartum periods with my children. I think about how much more I could have relaxed and enjoyed my sweet little baby with the extra support. I think of how much worry I could have saved myself by having a professional in my home that works with families and has been trained to support families during this time. I think of how much easier my recovery from birth may have been. I am sure that my postpartum anxiety could have been recognized and treated so much earlier, and what a relief that would have been.

The value of having this service during the early postpartum weeks and months is indescribable, and I know that that firsthand. To learn more about the process of meeting and booking a postpartum doula in Cincinnati, Dayton, the surrounding regions, please visit: swofamilydoulas.com/postpartum-doula.