Even the most experienced parents need help! A new baby is no walk in the park. A baby brings change to your routine, your body and your family. Many new parents may rely on a postpartum doula for extra support.
Postpartum doulas are individuals trained in assisting families in the postpartum period, or the three months after birth. The doula’s role is to help integrate the new baby into your daily routine and provide support. The role is broken down into three major categories:
- Practical: This role includes helping parents feed the baby, change diapers, and help the family. The postpartum doula can also offer support for other non-baby related matters such as light house-keeping, meal prepping, and watching other family members. The first three months of a new baby can be challenging, but postpartum doulas want you to feel empowered once they leave. They are not solely there to help you perform tasks, but to show you how to manage the household once they leave. It is important to remember that doulas come to your home. Through their experience and training, they are used to dealing with even the most chaotic families. You should never feel that your doula does not feel comfortable in your home. This is their job and what they are trained to do. Some postpartum doulas even offer overnight care in addition to day time care. It is up to you and your family to discuss and assess your needs.
- Informational: The postpartum doula can act as your real like informational booklet. They are trained in newborn and infant care. They can help you choose the right formula, help you schedule feeding times, and support you with breastfeeding and bathing. Postpartum doulas are usually well equipped in understanding diaper rashes, nail clipping, and burping. And their answers usually come straight from watching other parents’ experiences, not just from a textbook! Lastly, they are also connected to a lot of resources. They can connect you with counseling programs or support groups if needed.
- Emotional: This role of the doula is one of the most important functions. The doula will be there for you whenever you need to talk to someone, decompress, or keep you company. Doulas understand how you might feel because it is their job is to help mothers like you daily! A postpartum doula might give you the adult interaction you need after dealing with newborns and or children all day.
Some say the primary role of a postpartum doula is to mother the mother. You should never feel that the doula will add unnecessary burden. They are there to assist you, not for you to host them. For instance, some parents ask if they should clean the house and cook for them before they come. However, this is not necessary. They are not a guest, but become an integral part of your family.
If this is sounding like something you want to incorporate into your lose, then reach out so some local postpartum doulas in the area to chat about the different ways you can support your family.