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So...What does a Postpartum Doula do?

Maybe you have a pretty good idea of what a postpartum doula does, or maybe you are thinking about whether you need one or not and are wondering...what exactly does a postpartum doula do?

Postpartum doulas are trained professional who provide emotional, physical, and informational support to new parents during the early postpartum period. Typically, postpartum doulas will start working with a family in the first days after the birth of their new little on, but may also help a family prepare prior to a baby's arrival. During a session with a postpartum doula, the primary focus is to support the mother's recovery from childbirth and assist with the transition into parenthood. Postpartum doulas provide non-judgmental support, guidance, and resources for new parents as they navigate this intense life stage.

Postpartum doulas may engage in a wide variety of tasks, as they will customize their sessions to meet each individual family's needs at that exact moment in time. Generally speaking, sessions will include:

  • Emotional Support: One of the most important roles of a postpartum doula is to provide emotional support to new parents. The postpartum period can be overwhelming, physically and emotionally, so having someone who understands what you're going through and can provide tender support is essential. Your postpartum doula will listen to your concerns and offer reassurance, advice, and encouragement. Often postpartum doulas can help by listening to your birth story and provide loving support as you process and integrate the narrative of this milestone no matter how the actual event went.

  • Physical Support: Postpartum doulas also offer physical support by taking care of household tasks such as cooking meals, running errands, doing laundry (okay A LOT of laundry!), and light housekeeping. By anticipating and handling basic household needs a postpartum doula provides new parents with the time and space to rest and bond bond with their new baby.

  • Post Birth Recovery Support: One of the primary ways postpartum doulas support new families is by providing post-birth recovery assistance. No matter how you birth your baby, your body will need tender care and recovery after. Postpartum doulas will help with your recovery by making nourishing meals and snacks, keeping you hydrated, ensuring you are resting enough, and will help you with specific recovery activities like sitz baths.

  • Infant/Newborn Care Support: A postprtum doula can help you as you learn about your newborn and their daily needs. Postpartum Doulas can provide education and gentle coaching as you learn to care for your little one. From clipping tiny nails to helping with bathing, a postpartum doula will help you build your care confidence. Postpartum Doulas will also help you learn more about your baby, their milestones and what amazing little people infants are.

  • Infant Feeding Support: For families who choose to breastfeed/nurse their babies, a postpartum doula can help with the basics around latching, comfort and technique. They can also help you to identify when a more specialized resource like an IBCLC might be helpful. Postpartum doulas can also help you navigate and set up your breast pumps, should you choose to pump.

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