If you’re a parent you can probably agree that the postpartum period can be challenging. As the primary parent your life has been turned upside down by the new addition to your family; your sleep schedule is interrupted, your pre-baby daily routine is gone, you mind find yourself sustaining off of muffins, granola bars or anything you can grab with one hand.
Not only are you experiencing changes in your daily life, but your body is also going through huge physical changes from pregnancy, birth and postpartum recovery. In a time where you should be resting and adjusting to life with your little one, oftentimes parents get left taking care of the baby and themselves, with nowhere near enough support.
Handling regular, everyday tasks like making food, getting groceries and doing laundry can feel insurmountable with a newborn and in the face of exhaustion. It’s a complicated time of change and challenge.
Hiring a postpartum doula and getting postpartum support
The most common thing we hear from new parents upon learning what a postpartum doula does is “how soon can I get one?!” Postpartum doulas fill a vital need for new parents and they are trained specifically to help with the adjustment to having a baby.
A snapshot of just SOME of the things that a postpartum doula does:
Helps support EVERYONE in the family sleep (especially parents)
Make sure that parents basic needs are met (like nutritious food, getting time to shower, social interaction)
Tackle the laundry so you can just snuggle up with the baby
Provide support with siblings, because we know parents feel guilty and stressed about their other kiddos
Help with breast/chestfeeding (because that it can be HARD)
Notice pink/red flags around postpartum mood disorders (which at at an all time high with 30% of parents meeting the criteria)
Like other professional doulas, postpartum doulas do not provide medical care or advice but instead provide accurate information, support, care and when needed, serve as an advocate for the parent and family. Postpartum doulas are specifically trained to know, understand and meet the needs of new babies and (new) parents when it comes to postpartum care, feeding, planning, and sleep.
Selecting a postpartum doula is an important decision. It’s a great idea to check in with your friends and community to see if any of them have hired a postpartum doula and get referrals. Meet with several potential options to determine who is the best fit for you and your family.
What you can expect from postpartum doula:
If you are considering working with a postpartum doula, here’s what you can expect:
- An initial consultation, which can be in person or virtually/over the phone, where you will discuss your needs to determine if it’s a good match for what your potential postpartum doula offers
- The doula will provide an outline of the services they provide
- Collaboratively, you will determine what scheduling and availability looks like
- You will also cover the cost and payment options available
- They will come in and change your postpartum life
Just as baby needs support adjusting to life outside the womb, parents need support adjusting to life with a new baby. Postpartum support is here to help the transition easier, they’re here to nurture the parent.