What is a postpartum doula and why should YOU hire one after your baby is born?
Let me explain with this story…
Kelli and Steve were ecstatic when they were expecting their first baby. Like many expectant parents, they eagerly began researching all things baby.
With eager excitement, they began pouring over new parent websites, signed up for a childbirth class and started a baby registry.
They did all they could to learn about pregnancy, labor and childbirth.
They were ready!
…Or so they thought…
Labor and birth went as well as they could have hoped for. They hired a birth doula and were blessed with a relatively easy first birth.
Meeting their new baby was everything Kelli had imaged it to be… only better!
She just couldn’t get enough of the newborn snuggles, smells and sounds.
She was so excited to show off her baby to the world as friends and family flocked to her hospital room to meet the new addition.
The hospital nurses were helpful, since Kelli was surprised by some of the postpartum challenges of that first day. She was so glad she had someone to take care of her!
Postpartum Recovery after Birth
But… soon after delivery, Kelli was surprised at how tired she was.
Why did her whole body ache? She felt like she could sleep forever!
She began to feel overwhelmed and anxious.
- How was she supposed to take care of this new little person?
- Who would help her with breastfeeding once she was home?
- Who would answer her newborn questions?
- How would she ever get sleep with the round-the-clock feedings?
- Who would take care of her?
Once home, Kelli felt like she had been blind-sided by the challenges she began to face!
She just wasn’t expecting them.
Breastfeeding wasn’t going well, she wasn’t sleeping and her nerves were frazzled. She needed help.
Sleep-deprived and anxious, she sought help from friends and family, but she felt like she could never quite get the help (or sleep) that she desperately needed.
She needed competent, expert help… She needed a postpartum doula!
Unfortunately, Kelli had never heard of a postpartum doula.
What is a Postpartum Doula?
A postpartum doula is a specialized caregiver who takes care of the new mother during the early weeks (and months) after childbirth.
It is her job to “mother the new mother,” making sure that you have time to rest, bond with your baby and heal.
When you hire a postpartum doula, you have expert help to answer your newborn questions, assist with breastfeeding, and yes… pamper and spoil you!
Who wouldn’t want that?!
She will also lend a hand with dishes, cooking, laundry and other chores. Walking the dog, running errands and sibling care are also within her scope of practice.
How cool is that?!
10 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Postpartum Doula
Here are 10 reasons why you should consider hiring a postpartum doula.
If money is tight, you may be able to find a doula-in-training who needs pro bono work for certification.
Another great idea? Try adding postpartum doula services to your baby wish list!
1. You Deserve to be Pampered and Spoiled!
Think about it… You have just accomplished an AMAZING thing!
Your body just spent the last nine months making a baby!
What a gift and MIRACLE that is!
Relish it. Savor it and enjoy this beautiful season!
2. You Will Need Rest!
Your body is tired and needs rest.
Pregnancy, labor and childbirth are extremely hard on your body and you will need about 6 weeks to recover!
To do this… you need to prioritize sleep during the 4th trimester.
If you don’t have someone to take care of you, you simply cannot get the rest you need!
3. You Will Need to Heal
Did you know that after childbirth, you will have a wound the size of a small dinner plate inside your uterus?
This is the site where your baby’s placenta was once attached. After childbirth, this wound continues to bleed as it heals.
If this wound was outside your abdomen instead of inside, it would be easier to understand your need to rest!
When you over-exert yourself after birth, this bleeding (called lochia) will increase, delaying your healing.
In fact, an increase of lochia is a very strong indicator that you are doing too much!
Listen to your body and take it easy if you notice this increase.
4. Your Partner Will Need a Break!
Many new parents think that they will be able to do it alone.
But the truth is… having a newborn is exhausting!
Since you will be feeding your baby around the clock, you will need to sleep during the day, too.
… and BOTH parents will need to sleep.
5. A Postpartum Doula Will Help with Night Feedings!
Guess what? Postpartum doulas work overnights!
They will stay with your baby and keep watch… helping with feedings, diaper changes and settling.
Think about it…
Sometimes a feeding takes over an hour.
By the time you feed, burp, change and settle your baby back to sleep, you only have about 90 minutes until the next feeding!
Having help at night is AMAZING!
6. You will LOVE help with Chores!
One of the best parts of having a newborn is all the cuddling and snuggling with your baby.
When you have help with the cleaning and chores, you won’t need to look at all the mess!
You can relax and enjoy…. ahhh!
7. She will Cook and Feed You
How would you like to have someone around to feed you when you’re hungry and refill your water glass when it’s empty?
Oh… by the way… you WILL be hungry and thirsty more than normal, too!
Childbirth and breastfeeding can bring on RAVENOUS hunger and thirst.
But… no worries!
It will be like having your own personal waitress when she’s around!
8. She will give you Peace of Mind!
Many new mothers find themselves feeling anxious and nervous caring for a newborn.
Having an experienced baby care expert on hand to answer your new mama questions and help normalize the experience for you is invaluable!
Postpartum doulas provide up-to-date, evidence-based information about breastfeeding, newborn care and postpartum recovery.
- Why is my baby crying?
- Is this a normal newborn behavior?
- What are signs of trouble for mom or baby?
- Can I overfeed my baby?
9. A Postpartum Doula can help you Process Your Birth
Did you know that sharing your birth story can be an amazing way for you to care for yourself after childbirth!
Whether you had a relatively easy birth experience or a traumatic one, telling your birth story and processing it with friends and family can bring hope and healing.
Not only that, but it can be rewarding and fun, too!
Postpartum doulas offer non-judgmental, listening support and can be an excellent choice for someone to process with.
10. She Will Offer You Emotional Support
A new mother needs plenty of TLC.
As you transition from pregnancy to motherhood, your post-birth hormones may take you for a ride!
At times you may feel like you are on an emotional roller-coaster as your body adjusts to your post-pregnancy hormones.
One minute you may feel happy and excited and the next you may feel overwhelmed and anxious.
She will understand you, validate you and ACCEPT you right where you are at!
Her knowledge of postpartum recovery will normalize this whole experience for you and help you feel grounded and safe!
How do you find a Postpartum Doula?
You can start your search for a certified postpartum doula here.
Many birth doulas also offer postpartum doula services, so be sure to ask!
If you cannot afford to hire a postpartum doula, check with some doulas in your area to see if they offer reduced rates. Many do!
You can also check to see if they are aware of doulas who are in training. A doula-in-training needs to collect client evaluations. They will often offer pro bono services in exchange for your honest evaluation!
How to Get FREE Online Postpartum Doula Support!
Okay, so now you know about postpartum doulas, but did you know that you can also get FREE postpartum planning help to get ready for YOUR postpartum recovery?
The journey to being a mother is often more difficult than it needs to be! In fact, many postpartum complications such as mastitis, postpartum depression and sleep deprivation can be prevented or even eliminated with proper support after childbirth.
Unfortunately, there are many women, like Kelli, who struggle needlessly without proper postpartum support… It can be different for YOU!
Besides hiring a postpartum doula, guess what else can be a HUGE game-changer as you prepare for YOUR new baby?
… Having a Postpartum Plan!
Sign up today to get a FREE Printable Postpartum Plan!
Hi, I’m Karen! I am a certified postpartum doula, mom and grandma. Are you interested in FREE online postpartum doula support? If you can’t have a postpartum doula in your home, consider having one in your inbox! Sign up to get a FREE Postpartum Plan and Planning for Postpartum Email Course written by a professional postpartum doula! Also, please check out my blog for new parents! https://healthymamahacks.net/