What in the world is a (postpartum) doula?

I have already told you what a labor doula can do for you.  Have you also heard the term “postpartum doula?”  The desire to offer postpartum support to new moms is actually what drove me to train as a doula in the first place. The transition to motherhood is an amazing time, but it can also be a lot to handle.

As a new mom, you may still be recovering from the birth yourself.  You may have lots of emotions surrounding the birth experience.  You may have doubts and questions.  And then there’s that adorable bundle to think about… 

It can be a completely overwhelming experience to come home from the hospital with a new baby and realize that you are now totally responsible for that baby’s well-being.  The nurses are gone.  The doctors are gone.  It is all up to you.  Every feeding, every diaper, every cry that needs attending… You have to answer the call.  

Maybe you are lucky enough to have local family.  Or lots of friends!  But the truth of it is, they do not always know the best ways to help.  They do not understand that you need someone to listen and tell you that you are doing a fantastic job.  Or that you could really just use someone to help around the house a bit.  

That is where a postpartum doula comes in…

A postpartum doula is to the new mom what a fairy godmother is to Cinderella; she knows just what needs to be done and does it.  If you need some reassurance that you are doing the best possible job, the doula will listen and empower.  If that means running out to grab some groceries to make a simple, but nutritious, dinner for you and your partner, she waves her wand.  If the baby needs to be fed, but you really need a shower (or a nap!), the birds sing and she makes it happen.  The doula supports the whole family.  Things just run smoother.  Everyone gets more sleep.  The sink is empty, the laundry is folded, the refrigerator is stocked.  The simple things that can get set aside when a precious, very needy family member arrives.  

Becoming a mom shifts the ground beneath your feet.  The things that used to seem so easy can feel insurmountable.  There is an adjustment period, some growing pains.  But you do not have to face the adjustments alone.  

Everything is easier with a fairy godmother and the fourth trimester is easier with a postpartum doula.