Did you Know that Postpartum Doulas Have a Surprising Menu of Services?
Postpartum Doulas help new families navigate the early days and weeks, through a variety of hands-on practical skills, support, compassionate presence, education and referral.
Postpartum doulas assist the new mother and family after her birth in the birth setting itself or later in the home – with presence, breastfeeding support as well as care of the mother and newborn, family and household.
The postpartum doula mothers the mother and the family by creating a safe container of support and non-judgement, information and assistance in the first days and months after the birth so the mother can mother her infant.
While women have always supported women after the birth of their babies, postpartum doulas are an exciting new field with lots of options and many wonderful things on the ‘menu’ of services they offer. Each postpartum doula offers a different menu, depending on her skills and interest.
Postpartum doulas might offer do some or all of these things:
- Assists the woman and her family in planning for a smoother transition, whether they’re welcoming a first baby or expanding their existing family, through birth or adoption
- Makes a postpartum plan with her clients so they have realistic expectations
- Provides education, emotional support and practical skills related to the postpartum period
- Helps women and babies get a good start to breastfeeding, referring her to classes and groups
- Has suggestions and skills that lead to a calmer baby, handling colic, preparing siblings
- Provides information and guidance to the woman's partner in bonding with baby and supporting the breastfeeding relationship
- Helps the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
- Recognizes birth as a key experience and its effects on the postpartum time
- Arranges care for special circumstances such as Caesarean birth recovery and other challenges
- Assists in processing the birth experience (and story)
- Facilitates communication between the woman, her partner, extended family and others
- Provides non-judgemental support
- Do errands, offer to sleepover and provide overnight care
- Help with light housekeeping or food prep, leaving a casserole in the oven for the new mom
- Offers info about multiples and challenges
- Informs parents of community resources for breastfeeding, infant chiro care, mental health
- Recognizes when to refer clients to other experts e.g. lactation consultants, physiotherapists
- Above all, the doula mothers the mother so she can mother. This is important work.