The postpartum period can be a challenging time for new parents. The hormone changes, lack of sleep, and the general exhaustion from being up for days at a time can make this time feel overwhelming. New mothers have many questions about how to care for themselves and their newborns during this time, but they often do not know where to turn or who to ask.
A postpartum doula is someone who will provide you with emotional support, physical relief, and education on caring for yourself during the postpartum period. In this article, we will dive into what postpartum doulas do and why you should consider hiring one.
What Exactly Is Postpartum Doula Support?
Postpartum doula support is available to new mothers in the postpartum period who want extra support during the transition time after their baby is born, often referred to as the fourth trimester. Postpartum doulas are experienced women who help families during this time of their lives. They offer emotional, physical, and educational assistance while you are learning how to care for yourself and your newborn. In addition, postpartum doulas provide a range of services that can help relieve some of the pressure on new parents so that you feel like you are successfully transitioning into your new parenting role.
While a birth doula will provide support during the actual birth and labor of your child, a postpartum doula will provide non-medical support in the following weeks or days once you have delivered your child, including physical, emotional, and informational help.
What Does Postpartum Doula Support Look Like During Recovery from Birth
The role may look different depending on the needs of each family, as each one requires a personalized level of support and care. However, in general, postpartum doula support will include primary duties such as:
Helping moms with breastfeeding.
Providing support through the transition into parenthood.
Providing techniques to soothe newborns.
Postpartum doula services may also include providing physical assistance by offering light housekeeping (such as laundry), cooking meals, running errands like grocery shopping, helping family members adjust, advocating on the mother's behalf, and providing support on any topics new mothers may feel concerned about. In addition, a postpartum doula can help ease the transition into parenthood through emotional guidance that reminds new parents how much progress they have made following childbirth.
However, there are a few things that postpartum doulas cannot do, including providing medical care or advice. While they can provide resources, information, emotional and physical support, that is the extent of their abilities. However, if you do need a professional or services outside of their scope of practice, they will be able to recommend some great resources for you!
How Do I Know If I Need Postpartum Doula Support?
Many new parents will find themselves wondering if they will need a postpartum doula at some point. Postpartum support is incredibly valuable for the first few weeks after birth, as not all families feel the same degree of comfort or ease with their newborns and motherhood as others do. While many moms can learn to successfully navigate parenthood on their own using books and other resources, some want more guidance during this time than that which you could get from friends and family alone.
Postpartum doulas offer both tangible relief as well as emotional relief, providing customized care depending on the mother's journey. You may decide that hiring a postpartum doula is right for you based on whether having that extra support and care would help you better transition into the next phase of your life. Postpartum doulas provide physical, emotional, and informational support for new families during this time, in addition to allowing moms some quiet time while they adjust to their new role as mothers.
Benefits Of a Postpartum Doula
There are many benefits of hiring a postpartum doula, which is why the role has become an increasingly popular choice for new parents. Postpartum support can help relieve some of the pressure on new moms so that they feel like their transition into parenthood is successful and fulfilling. Here are some of the top benefits they offer new mothers.
Postpartum doulas provide emotional support to new moms during the transition into parenthood by reminding them how far they have come and what a difference their care has made for themselves and in raising their newborn.
Doulas help families create a space where labor hormones can work at their best, ease the emotional experience of birth, and help provide support in the way that each mother needs. Regardless of how well or complex your birthing experience is, a postpartum doula will provide the necessary connection and support during this time of your life.
Postpartum doulas can provide the physical support that mothers need as they adjust to their new roles. Postnatal care is often a time when women are recovering from childbirth, and postpartum doulas offer relief by providing light housekeeping services such as cooking meals, doing laundry, or grocery shopping so that you have more time to spend with your newborn during this special period in your lives together. Every extra bit helps when it comes to adjusting to a new baby.
Newborn Tips and Tricks
Postpartum doulas can provide resources that can help you better care for your newborn, including tips and tricks. Postnatal support is particularly beneficial during the first few weeks of a baby's life. Postpartum doula services are available to help with any issues you might be facing, including breastfeeding, basic infant care information such as swaddling or bathing techniques, and even just providing mom with some quiet time if she wants it!
Postpartum doulas may also provide breastfeeding support. Postnatal care is often a time when mothers want to make sure that their newborns are growing and developing as they should be. The early weeks of infancy can be stressful for new moms who feel like they are not doing everything possible enough or right, according to books or other resources.
Postpartum doulas help by offering one-on-one education about infant feeding so that you know what could work best with your baby and how to ensure all their nutritional needs are met even if problems arise which might prevent you from exclusively breastfeeding. Postpartum doulas are also able to refer you to an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) when necessary.
Postpartum doulas are trained to provide evidence-based resources that can help in your transition into parenthood. Postnatal care is the perfect time for new mothers to learn more about caring for themselves post-pregnancy and how best to support their newborns as they grow up together. In addition, postpartum doula services offer information on parenting techniques, infant development stages, self-care tips, or other issues you may be facing during this time with your baby.
Support For Siblings, Partners and Grandparents
It can be hard for family members or a spouse to find their roles during this adjustment period. Postpartum doulas also support family members, whether that is your spouse, siblings, or grandparents of the new baby. Postnatal care can include some of the best opportunities to encourage fathers and other caregivers in their roles while assisting both mom and dad, so they have all the resources necessary to adjust to parenthood.
Is A Newborn Care Specialist Different from A Postpartum Doula?
While both provide support and education, a postpartum doula is quite different from a newborn care specialist (NCS) though there are some similarties in roles. A newborn care specialist is a trained professional who provides care for the baby, not really focusing on the mother or providing integrative support. Postpartum doulas offer new mothers emotional support, education on infant care, and breastfeeding support instead of solely focusing on the baby.
Find The Support You Need at The Flourishing Mama Co.
During the first few weeks of your baby's life, you might find yourself overwhelmed and in need of support. Postpartum doulas are great resources for both emotional and physical support during the fourth trimester. They provide help with any issues you might be facing, including breastfeeding, basic infant care information such as swaddling or bathing techniques, and even just providing mom with some quiet time if she wants it!
If you are ready to find the right postpartum doula for you, we would love to get in touch with you today. At The Flourishing Mama Co., we are here to support you as you navigate through motherhood. Whether it’s for a few days or longer, we will support you every step of the way!