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A doula is a caregiver: someone who is experienced and trained to help the new mother and family. This very important service provides knowledgeable, caring, and personal support during those first few weeks as new parents.
Childbirth preparation classes prepare you for the birth experience, but often there is not enough preparation for the new role as parents and how your life will change once the baby is born. Extra hands-on experience can ease feelings of apprehension and uncertainty. A postpartum doula’s role is to come into the home to help the new family.
What services does a Postpartum Doula provide?
Physical comfort to you:
- Supports you with breastfeeding
- Makes sure you are getting plenty to eat and drink
- Allows you to rest when baby is resting or shower
- Helps you to care for your postpartum body
Emotional support for the new family:
- Supports you emotionally
- Listens to the story of the birth
- Validates the normal adjustment process
- Supports partner / helper through transition to new role
- Supports siblings in their new roles
Guidance in infant care:
- Supports you in your feeding choices
- Solutions to any breastfeeding challenges in the first weeks
- Gives information on newborn care
- Aids parents in developing their own styles of nurturing and bonding with the baby
- Nurturing, soothing and coping techniques
- Pumping information and guidance
- Proper storage and handling of breast milk
- May Prepare some meals and snacks for the new mother and family
- May Run errands: shops for food, supplies, etc.
- May do baby laundry, dishes and other light cleaning
- Help looking after other children
Postpartum Doulas do NOT:
- Evaluate medical conditions
- Take over the care of baby
- Insist new parents care for their baby in any particular style
- Do heavy house cleaning (mopping, cleaning bathtubs, etc.)
Research has been show that having an effective doula can reduce the incidence of postpartum mood disorders by up to 50%
Effective breastfeeding support increases breastfeeding rates.
Helps you gain confidence and increases self-esteem and empowers you.
Companionship, someone to talk to, who gives non-judgmental support.
Helps you achieve your parenting goals.
Enhance your ability to nurture your family and helps you to find the ways of parenting that work best for you.
Enables you to have more time getting to know and bonding with your newborn and gives you time to spend enjoying your other children.
Doulas provide evidence-based information and support.