What does a Doula Do? - Postpartum Support
The majority of moms and families plan intensely for labor, that often they forget to plan for what happens after. The immediate postpartum period is full of emotions, questions, and more emotions. Our role in your postpartum care begins immediately after delivery. We stay by your side after your baby is born for 1-3 hours to help you transition and you already know we plan to help you in your postpartum visit in the weeks that follow. Here are just a few of the many things we do as doulas during the postpartum time.
Planning Postpartum - You make a birth plan, but have you considered making an official postpartum plan? This can include who will be present in the hours and days in the hospital. Would you like to breastfeed or formula feed? Do you have meals taken care of when you return home? We will talk through these things during prenatal visits. We love helping moms think through their options and create a large support system so they can focus on what matters.
Encouraging Breastfeeding - Breastfeeding begins in the hours after delivery and we are there to support you getting settled and comfortable as you begin the journey. Positioning and latch during breastfeeding are crucial to breastfeeding success. We often help moms figure out which position works best and help them deal with the extreme emotions that can occur during those first hours. Starting the breastfeeding relationship as soon as possible is a positive step towards ensuring breastfeeding success and as doulas we work to provide you the support you need for this during the early days and follow-up with you at home.
Helping with Physical & Emotional Health & Recovery - Being a parent is a tough job, and the only way you can give the best to your child is if you are also taking care of you. Talking through your birth is important. We can fill in any gaps and help you to process the experience. Those first few days and weeks after giving birth are filled with hormonal highs and lows. We are a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear. We are invested in the moms we serve and anything we can do to help you feel physically and emotionally fulfilled is part of our job.
Discussing Newborn Care - How many times a day does a newborn need their diaper changed? Are they sleeping enough? Are they getting enough milk? Why is their poop green? Is this too much spit up? The questions when it comes to newborn care are endless. Especially if you are a first time parent, knowing what is normal and what is not can be tough. Ask us all your questions. Adjusting to caring for a little one is amazing and we want to help you focus on all of the fun parts, while addressing the totally normal, but maybe foreign questions. We can give you some tips and tricks and help to ease your mind.
We hope through the past few weeks you have gotten a better idea of what doulas do and how we can help you and other moms during this amazing time. Doula work is "heart work" and we give 100% of our heart to the women we serve. It never ceases to amaze us how fulfilling this job is and seeing new families born, never gets old.