What is a Postpartum Doula?
A postpartum doula provides evidenced-based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother-baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.
A postpartum doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. Research shows that moms, dads, and babies have an easier time with this transition if a good support team is in place.
What type of services does a Postpartum Doula provide?
The postpartum doula offers many services to her clients, but her main goals are to help “mother the mother” and nurture the entire family as they transition into life with a newborn. This would include doing things to help mom and dad feel more confident in their roles, sharing education on family adjustment, and tending to the unique needs of a new mother.
A postpartum doula works with each family individually to find out their particular needs.
Some of the duties that a postpartum doula will perform include:
Breastfeeding support and referral to IBCLC if needed.
Help with the emotional and physical recovery after birth
Light housekeeping so that mom does not feel so overwhelmed
Assistance with newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding and comforting
Light meal preparation
Baby soothing techniques and education about developmentally appropriate sleep
Referrals to local resources such as parenting classes, pediatricians, lactation support and support groups.
Most postpartum doulas provide service for a family anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks after bringing home a new baby. Families may have the doula work 1-3 days a week or as many as 5 days a week.
Postpartum doulas often offer nighttime service to help the family transition more smoothly into the challenges of nighttime parenting. Each doula offers different services, so it’s important that each family decide what their needs are and find a doula who can meet those needs.