When you've been running a doula agency for several years, it's easy to forget that some people might not know exactly how a doula could help them, especially a postpartum doula.
Before and during birth, a doula is focused exclusively on the other MOTHER and her goals, needs, and desires.
And after birth?
Well, after birth, our job is to provide the practical and emotional support that used to be provided by the community. Many mothers and couples don't have access to the kind of support they would like, so that's where we step in!
This can look like:
2. Professional Advice
Doulas are trained in things like infant CPR, newborn care guidelines, general postpartum health, and depending on the agency, a certain level of lactation as well. A benefit to choosing Richmond Birth and Baby is the access to our IBCLC team in addition to the personal training each doula has! This can save you time and effort if any feeding issues arise.
3. Light Housekeeping
While each doula has different things she offers, most will include light housekeeping in their packages. This includes basic chores related to baby/mom, like washing bed linens, soiled clothing, tidying mom/baby sleeping space, shift related dishes, etc.
4. Emotional and/or Spiritual Support
There is simply nothing as comforting as woman-to-woman support. Someone who has been in your shoes, knows the aches and pains. Someone who intimately understands the ups and downs of hormones and emotions. You weren't meant to do this alone, and having strong, capable woman supporting you can make all the difference.
Have a religious worldview or preference? Let your doula know that during the interview or hiring process. Our PP doula team has many faiths (and languages) represented, and we will always do our best to accommodate the needs of our clients.
5. Pump Related Chores
Many of the mothers that hire us intend to return to work, and with that can be challenging if you intend to breastfeed (exclusive or otherwise). In addition to advice on pumping and lactation concerns, our PP doulas will keep up with washing breastfeeding supplies, pump parts, and/or any bottles the baby uses during their shift. Was your baby offered a bottle while you pumped and went back to sleep? You can trust that your liquid gold was safely handled and prepared for use (either frozen or measured out for baby's next feeding).
6. Undisturbed Rest Periods
In the first few months, one of the most common complaints from new parents is the (near) constant lack of sleep. Not only is this emotionally taxing, but it may also contribute to the effects of postpartum depression. We offer overnight shifts so new parents get undisturbed periods of rest, even if that's only 2-4 hours at a time. During these shifts, your PPD doula will handle all baby related care, and simply bring them to you when it's time to eat. Want a bottle offered instead? That's great! We can leave your pump (and a snack) on your bedside table and just come get the milk once you're snoozing again.
Sleep is valuable commodity in the fourth trimester, and we promise to help you get as much as possible!
Perhaps you are interested in support for all of these areas! Perhaps just one or two (I'm looking at you, overnight care). Whatever the need, our Richmond Birth and Baby team is here for you. Let us be part of your community care. ❤️
Sign-up for postpartum support here: Postpartum Doula | Richmond Birth and Baby
Did you have emotional or practical support with your last postpartum experience? What did you find most helpful? Let us know in the comments!