A Doula is a birth worker who helps families create their ideal birthing experience. Do you prefer dim lighting, soft music, massage, essential oils or do you prefer hands-off coaching with words of affirmation? The media emphasizes the use of Birth Doulas, but neglect to highlight the importance of Postpartum Doulas.
Let’s look at some of the benefits.
Postpartum Doulas support families after delivery. They offer emotional and physical support to moms and educate the entire family on both mother care and infant care. The American Pregnancy Association defines postpartum care as “mothering the mother.” A Postpartum Doula will cater to the needs of each individual family.
Below is a list of duties that a Postpartum Doula is likely to perform:
• Breastfeeding support
• Help with the emotional and physical recovery after birth
• Light housekeeping so that mom does not feel so overwhelmed
• Running errands
• Assistance with newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding and comforting
• Light meal preparation
• Baby soothing techniques
• Sibling care
• Referrals to local resources such as parenting classes, pediatricians, lactation support and support groups
Did you know that Postpartum Doulas can help moms cloth diaper, baby wear and holistically heal the body? Here are a few benefits of diapering, baby wear and holistic care.
Cloth diapers are cost effective and are safe for the overall environment. Diapering is important and should be handled with care and attention. Cloth diapering can also be scary for those who are considered beginners. It requires a routine cleaning regimen that needs to be adopted by the entire family. Moms love the fun cloth colors and patterns.
Having trouble keeping your baby calm? Postpartum Doulas can help you soothe your baby. Babywearing is the use of a cloth wrap or carrier to wear baby close to the body. There are so many different ways to baby wear. Doulas can demonstrate the best ways to hold baby. In a study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying by 43 percent overall and 54 percent during evening hours (“Benefits of Babywearing”). The Babywearing International states that babywearing makes for an overall healthier baby. When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing and the sound of her heartbeat. Babywearing keeps baby calm while allowing mom to multitask. Babywearing allows for a more confident parent. Parents feel confident in their role if they are able to be attuned to baby’s movement, gestures, and facial expressions. Babywearing keeps baby close and secure.
Postpartum Doulas also educate mom on ways to heal her body holistically. It is important that moms get plenty of rest and eat a proper diet. Doulas assist with meal preparation and some don’t mind cooking for their clients. They also help moms monitor bleeding following delivery. It is not uncommon for Postpartum Doulas to specialize in herbal medicine, acupuncture, and acupressure.
Doulas are gaining popularity! It is Important to know what Doulas are what they have to offer. Doulas are here for you! If you’d like to discuss about Doulas a little more or tell us about your Doula experience head over to our Conversations and share with us.
This is a guest post by Brittany Curry, from belliestobabiesdoula.us.
Brittany is a mother of 3 and a trained Birth and Postpartum Doula servicing the Triad, NC. She holds a BA in Sociology and is currently working on her MBA. In addition to her blog, you can find Brittany on Facebook and Instagram.