Have you ever wondered what a postpartum doula does? Or if you will need or want one after your baby is born? Most people are very familiar with a labor doula, but a postpartum doula is not as well known! Today, we’re going to talk about what a postpartum doula can do for you and how she can help support your family during the first few months after birth.
What Is A Postpartum Doula?
The word “doula” comes from the Greek and means a “woman who serves”. A postpartum doula is a woman who serves you after your baby is born! If this is your first baby, second baby or even sixth baby, a postpartum doula can help support and care for you. Your job is to care for your new baby, a postpartum doula’s job is to care for you!
What Does A Postpartum Doula Do?
A postpartum doula’s job is to be the extra hands to help, the extra ear to listen and the extra support to guide you through the first few months of bringing a baby into the home. They are trained in breastfeeding support so to help you get off to great start feeding your little one. They can help with household tasks so you can rest, they can watch over and care for your baby so you can sleep or shower or just take a few moments to yourself. They are trained in infant care, so they can show you how to swaddle, how to babywear, how to calm a colicky baby. A postpartum doula’s priorities are you, your baby, your family and your house – in that order! They are trained to care for you, to serve your needs and to support you in any way they can. Postpartum doulas are a huge assistance to new dads too – letting them get rest, time to bond with the baby and the ability to worry about the things that matter, rather than all the little things that are piling up. New dads can also rest well knowing that someone who is trained and educated is there to help navigate the new waters of parenthood!
What Does A Postpartum Doula NOT Do?
A postpartum doula is not a personal chef, though they can make you meals, if you need help with that! They are not a babysitter or a nanny – their primary job is to care for you, so you need to be at home when they are there. They are not a house cleaner, though they are more than happy to vacuum or do some light surface cleaning so that you can rest better in an organized home. While they are trained in normal postpartum recovery (including c-sections), they are not part of your medical team, so they cannot provide medical care.
Do I Need A Postpartum Doula?
A postpartum doula is there to give you the space and freedom to heal, rest and bond with your baby without the weight of all of the rest of your responsibilities on your shoulders. They are there to help with tasks, to listen without judgement to your fears and concerns, to educate you on how to care for your little one. Whether you think you might need a postpartum doula for a day or two or several months in a row, a postpartum doula’s job is to work herself out of a job, by giving you the time to heal and the confidence to be the best parent you can be.
Erynn O’Brien is one of ABQ Doulas postpartum providers. She provides compassionate care for the families of newborns. Contact ABQ Doulas at 505-274-1540 to schedule a consultation with Erynn!