What Is a Postpartum Doula?
Like the birth doula, the postpartum doula is a support professional. The birth doula supports the family during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Whereas the postpartum doula’s focus is after the baby comes.
Postpartum doulas provide in home support for families. The postpartum doula “mothers the mother”. She cares for the mothers needs, making sure she is fed, hydrated, healing, and has slept. She nurtures the mother so that the mother can nurture her baby. The postpartum doula’s goal is to work herself out of a job. She may take turns caring for the baby so that mom can shower, nap, or spend quality time with an older sibling.
Her focus is not primarily on the baby, but the needs of the mother and the family as a whole.
The postpartum doula will:
- Assist breastfeeding. The postpartum doula has basic breastfeeding training, she is not a lactation consultant but will refer you to one if needed,
- Model infant care. Bathing, diapering, burping, etc.,
- Listen. She will listen to your birth story, your concerns, and your joys,
- She provides information about postnatal health and healing,
- Will do light household tasks,
- Cook meals,
- Help set up nursery,
- Watch older siblings and care for baby while you nap, or shower,
- Be a buffer for visitors, and help friends and family know what they can do to help,
- She will encourage and support you in your unique parenting approach,
- And connect you to local resources.
The postpartum doula is not a medical professional and cannot diagnose you. The postpartum doula is a “generalist” she is trained in what is “normal” and will always refer you to a specialist when needed.
What the postpartum doula does varies for each family and will be different day to day, based on the family’s needs and desires. The length of visits and frequency is negotiated by the doula and family.
How long will the postpartum doula support a family? This also depends on the family and their needs, but it is generally around two weeks to three months. There is no minimum, some families may only desire 1-3 days. Families can be supported longer than three months if a family requires extra assistance such as, families with multiples, baby with acid reflux, or other factors.
If you think that this help would be a blessing to your family, please click here to see my packages. To schedule a free consultation Call: 509-255-3752