It is only in recent history that women and their partners have begun leaving their homes to give birth. They then return home days later to begin caring for their newborn and themselves, often completely alone. As a society we no longer live with or near immediate family. Friends may be able to drop off a meal or two but they are busy and spouses return to work days or maybe a couple of weeks after the baby is born. Where does this leave the new mother, who is often recovering from a challenging labor or cesarean delivery? And is learning to feed and nurture a new human? And is sleep deprived, hungry, and dehydrated? And is overwhelmed by the simplest tasks such as using the bathroom, showering, eating, and doing laundry? And is experiencing hormonal, physical, and existential shifts like she has never faced before?
This is where the postpartum doula comes in. Like a birth doula, a postpartum doula's primary goal is to provide physical and emotional support to the new mother and family. The doula's exact role will be unique to each client/doula relationship: she may cook and clean, care for siblings and pets, help with breast or bottle feeding, and/or offer words of advice, encouragement, and comfort. She might care for the baby while the new family rests, showers, or goes for a walk. Some postpartum doulas will stay overnight in your home to care for the baby in between feedings.
It's hard to understand how valuable this service is until you're home with your baby. Ask anyone you know with kids if they would have wanted a postpartum doula. I know I would have!
Find out more about my professional, compassionate, and unbiased support for mothers before, during, and after birth.
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