When you give birth, it’s natural to feel scared and overwhelmed. No matter how much research you’ve done while you were pregnant, nothing can truly prepare for what will happen once baby arrives. It’s a learning process which all parents go through, but you don’t have to go it alone.
Doctors and pediatricians are there to ensure you and baby are doing well. However, they largely focus on the medical side of how you and baby are doing. That’s why many new parents turn to the help of a postpartum / postnatal doula.
Here, we’ll look at what a postpartum doula does and the benefits of hiring one.
What Does A Postpartum Doula Do?
A postpartum doula provides help and assistance to families bringing a new baby home. They use evidence-based information to advise on everything from feeding and other basic newborn care, to physical and emotional recovery.
They’re typically there to help in the initial few days or weeks after the birth. According to research, new parents often have an easier transition when bringing baby home, if they have a good support network in place.
The services a postpartum doula offers, other than the ones mentioned above, includes:
- Light housekeeping duties
- Running errands
- Preparing light meals
- Assisting with the care of your newborn
- Providing referrals to lactation support, parenting classes and other useful resources
As you can see, postpartum doulas are vastly different to pediatricians in the roles they provide. So, what benefits can you expect if you do decide to hire one?
What Benefits Do They Provide?
There’s a lot of benefits which come from hiring a postpartum doula. If you can afford one, the benefits you can expect include:
Helping You To Deal With The Birth – Whether you had a natural birth or a c-section, a postpartum doula can help you if things didn’t quite go as planned. They help not just with the emotional aspects of a traumatic birth, but the physical ones too.
They’ll help you to deal with any unresolved feelings you have, ensuring your initial parenthood experience is a positive one.
They Can Support The Entire Family – A doula is there to support the entire family. That means you, your baby and your spouse. They can also provide support to your other children, such as toddlers who may be struggling to adjust to having a new baby sibling.
This level of support isn’t found anywhere else and it can make a significant difference to how well your family adjusts to life with a new baby.
Helping You With Any Feeding Issues You May Experience – You’re often told breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. However, what you may not realize is that it’s actually a lot harder than it looks. In some cases, some mothers find they are unable to breastfeed their baby which can make them feel like a failure.
Whatever feeding issues you’re having; a postpartum doula can help. They can show you how to ensure baby latches on properly, point out anything which may need to be improved, and advise you on different methods you could try out.
It’s not just feeding they can help with either. They’ll also assist with any basic care tasks you’re struggling with.
A Less Stressful Transition – By far one of the biggest benefits of hiring a postpartum doula, is the fact it reduces a significant amount of stress. Taking baby home and getting into a routine can be really daunting and stressful. So, having somebody there who can make it so much easier is going to prove invaluable.
Even just the advice and information they can provide with basic care tasks makes a postpartum doula worth hiring. However, the fact they also offer other services, such as running errands and looking after your other children while you take care of baby can make a huge difference to your stress levels for those first initial weeks.
These are just some of benefits you can expect when you hire a postpartum doula.
Top Things To Consider
Now you’ve discovered the benefits of a postpartum doula, you may already be searching for one in your local area. However, before rushing in and hiring a doula, it’s important to ensure you’re choosing the right one.
For example, different postpartum doulas may offer slightly different services. Some may not be happy to cook or run errands, while others really won’t be able to do enough for you. So, always check what your potential doula is comfortable doing so there’s no mix-up once they’ve been hired.
You’ll also want to ensure you get on well with the doula. After all, their job is to make your life easier and they can’t do that if you don’t feel comfortable around them. So, don’t be afraid to compare different doulas and meet with several to determine which one is right for you and your family. It’s also recommended you check out references and ask friends and family for a referral to any good doulas they may know.
Overall, postpartum doulas can make a huge difference to your life! It’s so scary bringing baby home, especially if you’re a first-time parent. A doula can help take the worry away and boost your confidence in caring for baby. The benefits they provide are fantastic, but it is important to talk it through with your family before hiring one. A postpartum doula impacts the entire family so you need to make sure everyone is onboard with the decision.
Did you hire a postpartum doula? How was your experience? Share your comments below!
The thing with hiring a postpartum doulas is that once we can hire one that is really ready help, then there is no big issues that will arise in the home. I always tell people that there is no harm in having a helping hand when the baby comes, and this article has justified the reason.
That is true, Henrywrites. Parents, especially new parents, need all the help they can get when raising a baby. So if one is lucky enough to find reliable help, they should grab the opportunity 🙂
I am planning on getting married soon and I must that say this is my plan as I would not allow my wife to have lots of stress especially when the baby has arrived in the home. So, this is nice for some of us that are having such plans.
That is wonderful to hear, Henrywrites. We wish you the best! The girl you marry will be lucky because you already know how to take care of her and your future baby. You have equipped yourself.
Getting a postpartum doula is basically getting an experienced helping hand to help you deal with post pregnancy or after birth timeline. Pregnancy is never an easy thing and so is taking care of the baby especially when it’s a parents first child. With lack of experience in the act of baby upkeep, getting a postpartum doula seems like the appropriate thing to do.
I quite agree with you especially when we need a helping hand at the first pregnancy. I mean that is the time that both parents have not known much about how to handle series of issues as regards childbirth.
Yes, that is correct Henrywrites. With someone to guide them on baby care and what to do right after delivery, they would be able to know the right things to do. After delivery, the mom would need sometime to recover so she would need all the help she could get 🙂
The other way can be for the sister to the mom to be of help for I would recall what happened when my aunt delivered her little daughter, it was my mom that went to take care of things and that was really good as long as I am concerned.
Nothing beats care from a family member. They are the best people to turn to if they are available to help. Besides, if it’s a sister or mom who would take care of a woman who has given birth, she would feel more comfortable and relaxed around them.
Well said, Martinsx. New parents are still sort of “groping in the dark” when the baby is born so if they could find a doula who could guide them, it would be of great help.
We had to get my mother in law to stay with us immediately after our first son because we were practically novice in everything, even when we had read all sorts of books. She was like a guardian for us during that time.
A postpartum doula? I had never heard this term. Waiting outside the operation theater was one of the hardest time in my life as I was not prepared for C section. However, once I saw my baby everything became normal. Even more when the doctor invited me to see my wife in the post operative ward. My mother and sister were with me after the birth. Everything became easier.
That is true, vinaya. If there are family members who would help or would be present to lend a helping hand during the child’s delivery, it would mean a lot to a couple. Their presence, in itself, is already reassuring because first-time parents, even those who already have older kids and are having a new baby, need all the support they could get 🙂
Exactly, it’s better to have your family member to help out in the time of your wife’s pregnancy period and child delivery then getting an unknown person to come and assist. It’s always been between my wife’s close relatives or my immediate siblings that comes to aid my family when we are in such need of help.