As a doula, I often get asked if I only work with women that have postpartum depression. To the contrary, postpartum doulas have a positive effect that has been proven to reduce the incidence of postpartum depression.
The word doula is usually associated with birthing women, however, there are also postpartum doulas that assist families after the birth. After having a baby, many women feel quite vulnerable and unsure of their new role as a mother. Postpartum doulas are there to emotionally support the new mother and their family. They offer a non-judgemental ear and provide a safe environment for the family to express doubt, joy, frustration and concerns about the newborn.
In addition to providing emotional support, postpartum doulas will educate the new family on basic topics such as feeding, bathing and sleeping. Doulas are not health care professionals and do not give medical advice. Having a doula will help parents discover how they want to parent.
Mother after mother has told me how having a postpartum doula made the transition into motherhood less stressful. Many first time moms have said that they put a lot of time into preparing for the birth and not that much time into preparing for the postnatal period. Many parents leave the hospital without knowing what to do with their newborn, that’s where we come in. We offer suggestions and help families learn how to nurture and care for the infant.
Having a doula will optimize your time in the very crucial period of early bonding and attachment. The doula’s job is to make sure that the new mother is well taken care of.
Here are some other ways a postpartum doula can help:
Light meal preparation
Light household duties
Go to the store or run necessary errands
Care for baby’s siblings
Assist with the care of multiples (twins, triplets, etc)
Basic breastfeeding assistance
When asked about my services from perspective clients, I stress the importance of interviewing at least 2-3 doulas in your area. You will want to find the doula that you feel the most comfortable with. As a postpartum doula, I get so much satisfaction in assisting parents as they transition into their new role as mother or father and watch them fall in love with their newborn.