Here’s why you should hire a postpartum doula
We live in a society where “it takes a village” has been replaced by “you’re a supermom!” It puts way too much pressure on new parents to think that just because their friend or sister-in-law didn’t need help that they should feel guilty for asking for help themselves.
Many new moms find their own parents, sisters, aunts, or other relatives all have full-time jobs and aren’t available to help. Many new spouses don’t get any form of paternity leave unless they use their vacation time or take time off unpaid.
This is where the decision to hire a postpartum doula can be so helpful. A postpartum doula is someone you connect with during pregnancy so when the baby (or babies!) is born, you have that person lined up and ready to go. The word doula comes from the greek words “to serve.” Doulas come in many forms.
Here are three reasons you should hire a postpartum doula.
Physical support: As much as we all love to connect online and meet other parents going through our similar struggles, sometimes, having a physical person prove just how not alone you are makes a world of a difference. This doula can comfort your baby and even older children while you nap. She can tag along with you to those first couple of doctor’s visits when your hands feel forever full and your energy is severely lacking, or she can run errands for you. She can do some light cleaning if that is what you desire. And for some moms, more than anything, she can be the person who gently suggests it’s time to leave (read: kick out) for any well-meaning friends or family members who missed the first 5 hints that you’re too exhausted to entertain them.
Informational support: Think of your postpartum doula as a childbirth class refresher course. Whether you took a 1-hour prep class or a 12-week-long one, there was no physical child in your hands during all those demonstrations, and you may just find that a real baby is a little (LOT) different than the practice dolls.
Your postpartum doula can remind you of literally anything that slipped your mind, and she can probably even give you some insider tips from her own experience or share things that have worked for dozens of moms she’s helped before you. She can discuss any procedures that may be recommended for you or baby in this postpartum period. She can go over nutrition suggestions, nursing positions, safe sleeping guidelines, and so much more. She also probably has a library of books you can borrow if interested that help in this new phase of your life.
Emotional support: As a new mom, you may find yourself crying a lot. Or maybe even feeling angry about how you are being treated now or how you were treated in labor. You may be at arms with your spouse if you’re both battling immense exhaustion. A postpartum doula can be a shoulder to lean on. She can tell you what is normal and what may warrant getting extra help for. And if you have concerns after the first couple weeks, she can screen you for postpartum depression, which, if caught early, can be treated gently and help you feel stronger and healthier sooner.
This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the things a postpartum doula can do for you. Do some research and see if a postpartum doula is right for you!
**Note: Things a postpartum doula is NOT:
- a babysitter (you can’t leave the house to party with your girls while she stays home for you)
- a maid (she’ll do light cleaning and maintenance housework like laundry or dishes but don’t expect your baseboards to be scrubbed)
- your ride (for liability reasons, she cannot drive you or your child anywhere for any reason even in an emergency)
- free (she will be providing you a huge service, so expect to pay her a reasonable amount for her training, experience and time.)
Have you used a postpartum doula? Would you hire a postpartum doula for your next birth?
Featured image via Pixabay
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Tags: Heather C.