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What is a Postpartum Doula: 7 Reasons New Parents Might Need One

What is a Postpartum Doula: 7 Reasons New Parents Might Need One

What is a postpartum doula? A postpartum doula is a professional who provides support to new parents in the weeks and months following the birth of their child. They can help with a variety of things, such as breastfeeding support, newborn care, light housekeeping, and more. If you are considering hiring a postpartum doula for your family, read on for seven reasons why you might want to do so!

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What is a Postpartum Doula: 7 Reasons New Parents Might Need One

In A Nutshell: Postpartum doulas are trained professionals who provide support to families with newborns. They can help with everything from breastfeeding and sleep training to basic infant care. In other words, they are basically superheroes who make sure that you (and your baby) are getting everything you need.

What Training Does A Postpartum Doula Have?

Postpartum doulas are specially trained healthcare professionals who provide physical and emotional support to postpartum mothers. Their specific job is to help new moms navigate the post-birth transition period and adapt to their new role as a parent.

A certified postpartum doula is certified through DONA International, the leading organization for postpartum caregivers. To earn certification from DONA, doulas must complete an intensive training program that covers topics like labor and birth outcomes, breastfeeding best practices, newborn care techniques, maternal resources management, and more. Additionally, all postpartum doulas are required to maintain professional liability insurance coverage to be eligible for certification.

What’s The Difference: Postpartum Doula’s Role vs. Birth Doula &/or Baby Nurse

When it comes to giving birth, there are a lot of different options and resources to choose from. One of the most common questions that new parents face is whether they should hire a birth doula or a postpartum doula. While both types of support providers offer important benefits to new parents, they do have distinct differences as well.

A birth doula acts as a companion throughout the entire birth process, providing emotional support, guidance, and practical advice as needed. She can help to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed during labor, and she can also provide reassurance and encouragement when things get tough. In addition, she is typically affiliated with one or more lactation consultants who can assist with breastfeeding after birth.

In contrast, a postpartum doula specializes in caring for the newborn baby and supporting the whole family during the early stages following birth. Her primary focus is on helping new moms adjust to life with a new baby, including tasks like feeding and diaper changing routines. She can also provide help with breastfeeding or bottle-feeding if necessary.

newborn baby laying on tummy

What Do Postpartum Doulas Do: Postpartum Doula Services

When a woman gives birth, she enters into a period of transition known as the “fourth trimester.” During this time, her body is recovering physically, while also dealing with new emotions and challenges. A postpartum doula can provide much-needed support during this crucial time, helping to ensure that both the mother and infant can smoothly transition into life outside of the womb.

Support Families

After a baby is born, there’s a lot of support that’s needed – for the baby, sure, but also for the whole family. That’s where postpartum doulas come in. We provide support during the postpartum period in those early weeks and months after baby arrives.

They’re like your own personal cheerleaders, helping you to feel confident and capable in your new role as a parent. Whether you’re a first-time mom or a seasoned pro, we can provide the support you need to adjust to life with a new baby.

Breastfeeding & Bottle Feeding Support

As every new mother knows, having a baby can be an exhausting and challenging experience. In addition to recovering from childbirth and getting used to life with a newborn, many women struggle with breastfeeding or dealing with the demands of a fussy infant. This is where postpartum doulas come in.

Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your little one, having the support of a postpartum doula can make your life just a bit easier during this exciting but overwhelming time.

Maternal and Infant Health

Additionally, postpartum doulas offer expert advice on how best to navigate the complex world of raising a newborn – from establishing healthy sleep routines to handling feeds and diaper changes on a tight schedule.

Postpartum Mental Health

They can also offer tips on managing potential mood swings and low moments that are common among new mothers. Overall, postpartum doulas offer practical help as well as an empathetic ear when you need someone to lean on throughout this exciting yet challenging time in your life.

new mom cuddling baby

Reasons You Might Need A Postpartum Doula:

You might be wondering whether you really need a postpartum doula. After all, isn’t it natural to want to take care of your own baby? And don’t new mothers usually have help from their partner, family, and friends? While all of these things are true, there are also many good reasons to consider hiring a doula. Here are just a few:

1. First Time Parent

If you’re a first-time parent, you may not be sure what to expect after your baby is born. A postpartum doula can provide guidance and support as you adjust to life with a new baby.

2. Breastfeeding Support/Lactation Consultant

If you’re struggling with breastfeeding, a postpartum doula can offer expert guidance and support. They can also help you troubleshoot any latch issues or answer any questions you may have.

3. Emotional & Physical Recovery

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, a postpartum doula can provide much-needed relief. They can take over household tasks, do light housework, like laundry and dishes so you can focus on taking care of yourself and your baby.

4. Postpartum Mood/Anxiety Disorders/Mental Health

If you’re struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety, a postpartum doula can offer emotional support. They can provide resources and referrals to professionals if needed.

5. Cesarean Birth/Difficult Delivery

If you had a difficult delivery, a postpartum doula can offer physical and emotional support. They can help you recover from a C-section or other surgery, and they can guide you on how to care for your baby if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

6. Support for the Entire Family

If you have other children at home, a postpartum doula can help with their care while you’re recovering from childbirth. They can also provide support and guidance on how to juggle the demands of a new baby with the needs of your older children.

7. Hands-On Support

If you’re simply looking for someone to talk to about your experience, a postpartum doula can be a great sounding board. They can offer advice and support, or just listen if you need to vent.

How Much Do Postpartum Doulas Cost?

One of the most frequently asked questions about doulas is, “How much do they charge?” The answer, of course, varies depending on the doula’s experience, location, and the services she offers.

In general, doulas charge between $500 and $1,500 for their services. Some doulas offer discounts to families who are experiencing financial hardship.

newborn baby boy laying in basket bassinet

FAQ’s About Postpartum Doulas

Q- How long do you need a postpartum doula?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long a postpartum doula is needed. Some women may only require a few visits over a week or two, while others may need more ongoing support for several weeks or even months.

Q- Are postpartum doulas worth it?

Having a baby is a huge life event that comes with a lot of changes- not just for the baby, but for the parents too. Suddenly, you have this tiny human being that is completely dependent on you and it can be a lot to handle, especially for first-time parents. This is where postpartum doulas come in.

So, are they worth it? Absolutely! Having a postpartum doula will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have someone on your team who has your back and gives you continuous support 24/7.

Q- When should you get a doula?

You might be wondering, “when should I get a doula?” Well, the answer is simple: as soon as you find out you’re pregnant! Seriously though, having a doula can be a HUGE help during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. They can provide support and information throughout your entire pregnancy journey and the postpartum period, and they’ll be there with you every step of the way on the big day. Trust me, you’re going to want all the support you can get! So if you’re thinking about getting a doula, my advice is to go for it! You won’t regret it.

Q- Is a doula the same as a midwife?

A doula is not the same as a midwife, though both professions share a common goal: to support mothers through the childbirth process. While a midwife is a medical professional who is trained to deliver babies, a doula is a non-medical support person who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother during labor and birth. Doulas do not provide clinical care or make medical decisions, but they can offer helpful advice and guidance on everything from breathing techniques to pain management.

Q- Are doulas only for a natural birth?

Doulas are often thought of as being only for natural births, but this is simply not the case. Doulas can be a wonderful asset for any birth, whether it is vaginal or cesarean, medicated or unmedicated. No matter what kind of birth you are planning, a doula can be a valuable member of your team.

So, do some research to find a postpartum doula that is the right fit for you and your family, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having someone on your team who has your back 24/07. Trust me, you’re going to want all the support you can get!

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Hi, I’m Stephanie

Your newest BFF & Simplicity Guru, if that’s ok with you

Fueled by equal parts cold brew and dry shampoo, I spend my days inspiring and encouraging women to find joy and rest, even in a season full of chaos and overwhelm.  Your story, your family, your journey is a beautiful one and I can’t wait to help you create memories you will treasure for years to come.  

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