It’s fairly normal for parents to focus so much on pregnancy, labor and birth, that the postpartum period isn’t always considered until you’re knee-deep in diapers, sleep deprivation and a whole lot of sweet baby love. So how can you plan now to make sure you’re well supported once baby is on the outside of your beautiful belly?
Enter the postpartum doula. What does she do? Is it worth hiring one?
We asked Brook Holmberg, a birth & postpartum doula, Blooma prenatal yoga teacher, and one of the beautiful trainees pictured above, for her top five reasons to hire a postpartum doula. Mamas, if you used a postpartum doula, tell us why in the comments below so others can learn from your experience!
- Ease of transition to life with baby. The postpartum doula helps to ease parents into their new role with a little one regardless of whether it is the first baby, or subsequent. This can be huge in helping parents to build an empowered and confident relationship with each other, with their new baby as well as with older siblings.
- Emotional and physical support. The postpartum doula is there to create a safe space for the new mother and partner to unfold and grow in their new roles. She does everything from sitting with the mother to allow for her to emotionally process her birth story, to lending a non-judgmental ear for the partner to sift through new thoughts and feelings, and to offering gentle massage to ease tension. (See #5 for more!)
Informed decision-making. There are many decisions that a family must make regarding the health of their newborn. A postpartum doula will not offer medical advise in any sort of way, but she will, given her skills, knowledge and professional relationships, help the parents sift through all of the available information so they can make the best decisions for their family and on behalf of the little one.
- Resource referral. It can be overwhelming for parents to search out the resources needed for their little one or for themselves as new parents. Fortunately, postpartum doulas are typically connected to a larger group of birth and health professionals in their community and are able to help parents access these resources with a bit more ease. Sometimes these referrals are as simple as finding the cheapest cloth diaper supplier, to the more complex potential needs of finding the most skilled lactation counselor, or therapist for deeper postpartum emotional help.
- Flexibility in care. The scope of care for the postpartum doula is relatively large; she is trained to meet the parents where they at, and is thus able to recognize the unique needs of that family. Some families purely need emotional support, while others need help with light household chores, meal preparation, sibling support, or even overnight care allowing parents an opportunity to get a bit more rest. Most families need a combination of all of the above and more.
That’s right mamas. Number 5 said OVERNIGHT CARE, allowing you to sleep. The postpartum doula will bring baby to you as needed if baby is nursing, then come back for baby, burp and change her diaper, and continue on with the night while you drift back to sleep. AH-mazing. (Can you tell I did this once?)
Want to find a postpartum doula near you? Search The Childbirth Collective to find your Twin Cities match, or simply ask us at Blooma for recommendations. Several Blooma staffers are postpartum doulas, too!
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma