15 Things a Postpartum Doula Can do in the First Days that Clients Appreciate

1). Bring some fresh fruit – even a small bunch of strawberries can taste great!

2). Refill water bottles and offer tea or fresh juice.

3). Offer to hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign to restrict visitors so clients can rest.

4). If they’re at the hospital, remind them that they can ask non-medical staff and visitors to come back later - after the new family nap or after a visit is complete.

5). Inform them about any breastfeeding support sessions, groups and/or classes. These may be in the hospital, in the community and/or online.  In-person is best!

6). Remind them to ask friends and family to drop off nutritious meals and snacks at home or hospital. They can order take-out to be delivered to the hospital!

7). Hold the baby so they can have a shower/bath and get cleaned up. (Reminder that doulas usually only hold the newborn baby if no parent is available to do so.)

8). Watch a breastfeeding session and offer suggestions for a sustainable posture and newborn positioning.  Use lots of pillows to support her arms/soften shoulders. Teach side-lying nursing – it’s a life-saving skill!

9). Bless clients with positive feedback. Caution on ‘corrections’.

10). Listen attentively to their birth-story.  After, give feedback on their strength and awesomeness. Remind your clients to be kind to themselves as they integrate the experience and processes the story.

11). Remind them to share the details of their birth sparsely and cautiously. They can always add more later but can never take the story back!  There may be several versions of the story, depending on who they’re telling.

12). Freshen the room. Check supplies of linens, pads and other toiletries. Throw away old food and wrappers, wipe the table. If they have essential oils/room sprays, offer to spritz or infuse a few drops wisely.

13). Give the birth mother a shoulder massage and/or a long hug, especially if she is weepy. Ask the partner how they feel and how the birth went, from their viewpoint. Partners might like hugs too.

14). If they’re at the hospital and have a car, ensure they know where it can be safely parked.

15). If they’re at the hospital, offer to help them move back home.

 

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