“What can I ‘doula’ for you?”
What is a postpartum doula? Certainly not a nanny or a baby nurse. Why? The services of a nanny or a baby nurse centers on the care of children and/or babies, while the services of a postpartum doula center on the care and support of the mother. These services may include caring for siblings and/or newborns, but the main focus is on mothering the mother by nurturing, supporting, listening, helping, and providing non-medical care. What might this look like?
Nurturing– The doula ensures mom has the opportunity to rest and to shower, and asks if she is eating and staying well hydrated. If not, the doula prepares nutritious snacks and helps provide plenty of fluids.
Supporting– Do parents want to breastfeed? Bottle feed? Use disposable or cloth diapers? Curious about baby-wearing and carrier options? Do they need help with convenient organizing to make life with a new baby more conducive to the family’s lifestyle, or tips to calm and soothe a fussy baby? A postpartum doula is an excellent resource for all things “baby,” but more importantly, there isn’t an agenda to do things a certain way; a postpartum doula supports parents as they navigate their own way to parent.
Listening– The emotions accompanying transition into motherhood can be confusing and overwhelming. If the events surrounding the birth were different than what was hoped for, it can often be traumatic. A postpartum doula offers a non-judgemental ear to help mom process her labor and birth experience. This can be especially helpful if mom wants to parent differently than close friends and family advise, and she may just need validation that she is doing a great job and she is the BEST for her child.
Helping– Are family meal-times overwhelming? A postpartum doula can offer meal preparation services. Is laundry getting out-of-hand? A postpartum doula can throw a few loads in during her visit. In need of a trip to the grocery store? A postpartum doula can run the errand, or care for baby while mom gets out of the house. All of these things, and more, are possible with a postpartum doula!
Non-medical care– Mom will most likely experience discomfort after a cesarean or vaginal birth. A postpartum doula can assist with getting around, or make things a little more comfortable with an extra set of pillows or an ice-pad. A new mother can also experience engorgement whether or not she is breastfeeding, and a postpartum doula can help manage the discomfort by providing hot/cold compresses and suggest other relief options.
A postpartum doula is available to assist during daytime hours and overnights; for hospital stays and at home, and brings a wealth of knowledge about baby care, feeding, and sleep, all while enhancing the mother-baby-partner bond and instilling parental confidence, with the utmost discretion . Hire a postpartum doula and you have a right-hand assistant. What can Jalussee “doula” for you?