POSTPARTUM DOULA QUESTIONS
WHAT IS A POSTPARTUM DOULA?
Postpartum doulas are non-medical, non-judgmental professionals who provide informational, physical, and emotional support in the weeks and months following childbirth. Their services are customized to address the unique needs of each woman and family.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A POSTPARTUM DOULA?
Studies show that non-medical, non-judgmental support during postpartum is one of the most significant factors determining breastfeeding success, confident parenting, and avoiding postpartum anxiety and/or depression in both mothers and fathers.
Not only that, but most clients tell us that having a postpartum doula helped them enjoy their first few months with their baby rather than just survive them
WHAT SERVICES DOES A POSTPARTUM DOULA PROVIDE?
Her services include, but may not be limited to…
Nurturing of the new mother: tips to help the post-birth healing process, discussion of rest and nutrition needs, a listening ear, assistance processing the birth experience, meal or snack preparation, and caring for the home’s needs so mom can sleep or rest.
Infant feeding support: training, experience, and additional resources for both breastfeeding moms and bottle-feeding parents, with additional training to support the lactation journey
New baby care education: building your confidence in the basics of infant care, such as bathing, cord care, circumcision care, dressing, cloth or disposable diapering, infant soothing techniques, and patterns and habits to establish good baby sleep
Family adjustment: support for the whole family’s adjustment to life with new baby, including partners, siblings, and pets
Meal preparation: a home-cooked meal made fresh and ready-to-eat
Household care: laundry, linens, sweeping, vacuuming, dishes, light cleaning, plant care, pet care, dog walking, and errand-running
Sibling care: care for older children so that parents and baby can rest and bond
WHAT SERVICES DOES A POSTPARTUM DOULA NOT PROVIDE?
Postpartum doulas do not…perform medical or clinical tasks, such as exams or monitoring. They do not provide cleaning services beyond light housework, as detailed above. Lastly, doulas do not offer childcare beyond as described above.
WHAT HAPPENS ON A TYPICAL VISIT?
A typical daytime visit usually includes some discussion with the new parents about feeding the baby/babies, postpartum healing, family adjustment and newborn care, and household care and preparing snacks and/or meals.
If you’re seeking specific help with breastfeeding, our visit will naturally revolve around whatever questions or issues you have regarding feeding your baby.
We are trained to counsel, assess the baby’s latch if necessary, and make suggestions as we work together to prevent and solve breastfeeding problems.
A typical nighttime visit usually begins with a “check-in” where the parent(s) update the doula on how the day went for the baby/babies, what the baby/babies and the parent(s) need for the night the goals for the visit, etc.
Then, the parent(s) head to bed and the doula handles the nighttime care of the baby (other than breastfeeding) to maximize sleep for everyone.
When appropriate, nighttime parenting strategies or other topics will be discussed.
WHAT DOES DAYTIME DOULA SUPPORT LOOK LIKE?
Daytime postpartum doula support is excellent for seasoned parents who know the value of good assets those first days and first-time parents who want personalised education on caring for their newborn(s).
We’ll cover baby basics such as diapering (cloth or disposable), clothing, bathing, cord care, circumcision care, safe sleep, soothing baby techniques, bedtime routines, and baby-wearing (using wraps, slings, carriers, etc.).
We’ll also assist and support your feeding choices. We have significant breastfeeding experience, knowledge, and resources at hand to support the nursing mom, and we also can help bottle or formula-feeding parents get off to the best start, too.
To honour this important and precious “babymoon” time, we’ll take care of household needs or hold baby/babies while you nap, shower, get some fresh air, or just relax.
We recommend starting with a minimum of 20 hours (five visits of four hours each) of daytime support.
Minimum daytime visit length: 3 hours.
WHAT DOES NIGHTTIME DOULA SUPPORT LOOK LIKE?
Overnight postpartum doula support is perfect for families with multiples or parents who simply need the occasional good night’s sleep or a chunk of hours’ rest they can count on to fuel them the rest of the week.
We support your nighttime parenting by sharing strategies with you when appropriate and helping you gain confidence in your own ability to parent your baby/babies through the night.
If you’re breastfeeding your baby/babies, we bring them to you (or wake you) to feed. Our goal is to help you feel empowered tonight; parent your baby your way. We recommend starting with a minimum of 24 hours (three visits of eight hours each) of nighttime support.
Minimum nighttime visit length: 8 hours.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT I NEED?
We encourage parents to think about who is already in their lives who is supportive and truly helpful. Ask those people to help! If they cannot or will not (or perhaps you’re feeling like they’ll try to assist but might not actually be all that helpful), then postpartum doulas can fill in the “gaps” where your other help is not…helping.
We recognize that nobody can really know exactly what they will need before their baby arrives, so rest assured that you can always add on more postpartum doula support if you feel like the amount you initially booked is insufficient. Visualize the first month or two with your new baby/babies, and build your package based on your best guess. We can flex with you as we go.