What is a postpartum doula?

The baby (or babies) being born is not the end of a journey, it is a beginning.

The beginning of parenthood. This time is also known as the postpartum period. It is a time of adjustment, transition, identity shifts, new routines, and a whirlwind of emotions. The postpartum and infant care doula is the support piece through this all. A birth recovery and newborn expert who is an excellent listener and companion in early parenthood.

Lets set the scene. You come home from the hospital excited and ready to be your new family. Healing from birth though is a process. The recovery from birth can be unique to each individual. Your doula is there to hear about it all, keep you comfortable, and remind you what is normal. By the way there is no TMI with a doula. From vaginal discharge to leaky breasts, to smelly armpits, we want to hear it all. Do not hold back!

The goal in this recovery time is comfort and healing. No matter how you give birth the more you rest and allow yourself time to heal the faster you will feel like yourself! As you navigate the physical joys of the healing process, like lochia discharge, soreness, and the dreaded going #2 after birth, your doula can offer comforting tips, and reminders of what to expect. The doula is the piece of the puzzle that makes it easier for you to rest. Swirling around magically making a full water glass appear, bringing a baby to your arms, and perhaps even preparing a yummy snack for you.

more importantly they are the unbiased listening ear you never knew you needed.

Doulas are excellent communicators and trained in active listening. Doulas truly understand what the postpartum time can be and the variety of feelings that can be associated with it. We celebrate your wins and listen to your struggles. We may even have a trick or two up our sleeves to help navigate a hurdle.

When to secure your postpartum support

It is best to hire your doula as soon as you know you want postpartum doula support. If everything in this blog sounds like exactly what you are hoping for, you may want to secure your doula support now! There truly is no time that is too early. But there could be a time that is too late. Here’s the thing, doulas do book up. Doulas block off their calendar with every signed contract. MDDS has a larger Postpartum & Infant Care Doula team which sometimes means we can be more accommodating to those who decide it makes sense later in pregnancy or even after the baby is here. But even our team as a whole books up in advance.

Once you know you want a postpartum doula you can then begin to think about what types of shifts and times of day to have a doula with you. What makes sense for your family? Don’t worry your doula will help you navigate a schedule with you. Daytime shifts are popular to help navigate the new routines of life with your baby. Overnights can mean more restful nights to sleep deprived new parents.

Postpartum and Infant Care Doulas provide many benefits to families. Overall they are there to build confidence and help the whole family feel more comfortable through the early parenthood adjustment. This can mean more sleep. This can mean someone who actually listens and validates. Our support as doulas can mean we are a sounding board to the decisions the new parents face. Doulas can also be a personal guide to all things newborn care. We help with feeding, sleep, or daily care of the baby.

You do not have to do this alone. As a matter of fact at Metro Detroit Doula Services we believe we’re all in it together!

Ready to talk to a real live Postpartum & Infant Care Doula? Want to begin planning your postpartum period? Contact us today!

Authored by Andrea Stainbrook

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