You know the word. Then one we have all used, at one time or another. It taunts us, sometimes daily. Casting doubt and fear into our daily lives as we try to do our best to birth and raise our children as best we can.
Don't Forget The Post-Birth Time
Postpartum work is my favorite work. And while all the jobs I do as a doula, lactation counselor, and postpartum placenta specialist bring me joy and fulfillment, postpartum work has a special place in my heart.
It is unfortunately quite common that a new family receives less support after their baby is finally born than they do during the pregnancy or even during the labor and birth. Many parents have to return to work within a matter of weeks; their partner within a matter of days, sometimes.
My job as a postpartum doula is so incredibly versatile. Because I am trained to attune to each individual family and provide support that is individualized (and never one-size-fits-all), I can honestly say that my postpartum doula work can benefit every single family.
There are so many different ways that a postpartum doula can help your family. Let's dig into ten things that can happen when you hire one for a minute.
1. The first few weeks at home after having your baby are made easier.
You know, those tender, exhausting, and emotional weeks? I'm there. Need help in the bathroom after a difficult delivery? I've got you. Need your ice water cup refilled every time you sit down? Done. I'll bring your baby to you in your bed when they need you. I'll show you how to swaddle (and show you again, and again if need be). I can be that calm, supportive voice who assures you that you are doing an amazing job.
2. You sleep.
I know, I know. New parents aren't "supposed to" sleep, right? I don't subscribe to that. Having a postpartum doula means that the sleep that you need to survive life on earth as a human will no longer be a rare commodity. It is a basic necessity, and getting more of it is my goal for you. Whether you are a breastfeeding family or a bottle feeding family, I can help you get more sleep. Overnight doula here!
3. You eat nourishing foods prepared with care and skill.
I cook, and I meal plan. In fact, I offer an entire meal planning service, if that's what you need. But I can also come with you to the store as you learn how to juggle your baby (or baby and older kids) on a grocery run. I can prep and cook dinner/lunch/breakfast, and make sure the kitchen is cleaned up after you eat.
4. You feel supported and appreciated.
I want you to know that you are an amazing parent. You have everything in you right now to be the best parent to your baby/babies/children. My job is to cheer you on, support you unconditionally, and validate your choices. You are the expert on your baby and your family.
5. You can cuddle your baby uninterrupted as long as you want.
I will help you figure out ways to spend more of your time snuggling and smelling your beautiful baby without needing to feel like you have a million other things to do. Need a bowl of prepped snacks on hand at all times? I can do that. I can help brainstorm ways that you can get the rest you need to heal and recover.
6. Your older children feel included.
Sometimes older children can feel excluded from the excitement of a new sibling. I love to help make them feel like a part of the story. Whether it's reading them stories or playing games with them, or taking care of the new baby so you can snuggle your bigger kids for a little while, I can help the whole family feel excited about the new baby.
7. Family and friends visit without stress.
The endless stream of visitors at the home of a newly postpartum family can sometimes feel overwhelming. You may struggle with conflicting feelings. You want them to come and share in the joy of the new family member but you don't want the mess they may leave behind.
I can help make sure you are able to entertain guests stress free. I am more than happy to help you to verbalize your boundaries to family and friends. Or we can come up with a plan and I'll help coordinate a few stress free visits with the ones who matter most to you.
8. Evenings are a breeze.
I love helping during these difficult evening hours. Babies tend to be most fussy during the evening. They seem to know exactly when you start dinner and will take that cue to start crying. Then your spouse comes home and your dogs need out, and all of a sudden it starts: the dreaded dinnertime disaster. You'll be lucky if you eat a warm dinner tonight, much less bathe the kids and get them in bed on time.
It doesnt have to be this way. With an extra set of hands, I can help make sure that dinner, bath, bed, and baby are all taken care of on time and with smiles and giggles.
9. Mornings are easy-peasy.
Getting out the door on any given day, with children, can end up ruining the entire day. Add a baby to the mix and oh. my. gosh. We are NEVER going to get there! Right?
I've got you covered. Like the dinnertime doula, the morning rush doula helps make sure life is easier for the whole family. From morning wake ups to school/day care drop off, I know it's not an easy job for you. I am here to help.
10. Going back to work is an easier transition.
It's not always easy to go back to work. I can help make the transition easier. I support you in creating a plan for pumping and storing your milk if you breastfeed. I know it's sometimes scary, and that even though you might love your job and love being a working parent, it's not always easy to leave your baby. Let's work together to make this the easiest transition possible.
This is only scratching the surface of what a postpartum doula does. In reality, the sky is the limit on how far my support goes. I promise to support your values and to help you reach all of your goals in the best way possible.
For questions about postpartum doula services, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call! 804-605-9520
Erin love to write about topics that families are interested in, to help spread awareness throughout the community, and to help her clients and future clients better understand her services. She loves chatting with people about her blogs, so feel free to contact her!