A growing number of families are adding postpartum Doulas to their support team as they make their transition into parenthood. So, what do Doulas really do, how can they help? Our role is to support families with their needs and new role as parents. For some families this might involve tending to the baby so parents can rest, shower, eat a meal, or catch up on a few phone calls. There are many tasks that new parents do not have time for in the early days such as meal prep, laundry, and general tidying. You may not feel comfortable asking a family member or friend to fold your laundry or chop veggies, or make you a hot meal, but with a Doula that’s our job.
Breastfeeding can be challenging and your Doula can help you gain confidence and skills in that area and offer additional resources if needed. Unlike some family members or friends, Doulas do not need to be “hosted”. It’s common for us to invite relatives over to meet the new baby and when they leave you feel exhausted because instead of gaining support or help you’ve entertained company. There is always the exception some family members or friends who you know would do your laundry and make you a sandwich!
A Doula is educated with the most current research around postpartum care and newborns. We won’t reference “when you were a baby…” like some of the new grandparents. They mean well but some things have changed for a reason. Every family has unique needs and routines, navigating how a baby can change or alter these can be overwhelming. A Doula can support and guide you through this process.
During those first few weeks home, certain tasks might seem daunting, like bath time for baby, or trimming their nails, there will be many questions firing around in your mind. Having a Doula there to show you the ropes until you gain confidence can help keep you calm and reassured.
After birth, women need healing physically and often emotionally, a Doula knows what to offer and suggest to new mom’s and dads. Did you know that Doulas will do overnight shifts? YES! Sleep will become very precious to new families. Doulas will come overnight to your home and care for your baby while you get some much-needed rest. If you are breastfeeding, we will bring your baby to you for feeds, or if you have pumped, we can bottle feed so you can take full advantage of a full night’s rest. Whatever nighttime routine you are comfortable with we will be there. Dirty dishes in the sink after bedtime? No problem we can take care of that during the night once your baby is back asleep. Doulas can even pick up a few things for you on their way to your home, forgot you were out of milk or eggs, we got it no problem!
Doulas generally work per hour. Some Doulas have a minimum number of hours (i.e. 4 hours). Shifts can vary from days, evenings, and overnights, week days to weekends. Every family has preferred times based on their partners schedule, babies schedule etc. Most Doulas offer gift certificates. Consider giving a friend the gift that keeps on giving. It can make an amazing shower gift, what is a better gift than sleep?
Consider adding a postpartum Doula to your support team, you will not be disappointed!