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!