What Are Postpartum Doula Services?
Postpartum Doula 101
Pregnant women receive a lot of attention in the months leading up to childbirth, but it’s often the months afterwards that are the most challenging. There are meal trains, quick hospital visits, and helping relatives for those first few weeks post-delivery—but what then? What most women often experience is a profound sense of loneliness and fear as they realize that, although an amazing experience, taking care of their baby can feel overwhelming. Postpartum doula services can make all the difference during this pivotal time. If you’re not sure what this entails, we’ll give you a general idea below.
If you’ve never had a baby before, breastfeeding can be an ultra-challenging task. From getting the baby to latch and dealing with irritated nipples to fear that you’re not producing enough and learning to pump, the whole experience can feel like you’re trying to climb Mt. Everest. Having a doula on hand to support you through this can be incredibly helpful, and hopefully be a launch pad for a long and productive nursing experience.
Light Housekeeping, Meal Preparation & and Errands
While postpartum doula services don’t offer heavy-duty cleaning by any means, they can help you keep things tidy. Having a lack of clutter around you can make everything feel less chaotic. Your postpartum doulas can also help prepare meals and run any necessary errands so you can tend to the baby or sleep while the baby sleeps.
Baby Soothing Techniques
You’ve surely read all the books and taken all the classes, but baby soothing can still be the hardest postpartum task despite all this preparation…especially if your baby is colicky. Your doula is well versed in swaddling, rocking, sleep training, and plenty of other caring approaches to getting your baby the sleep and quiet time he or she needs…and that you need as well! You’ll surely learn from the doula so that you can use these same techniques once the postpartum doula services have ended.
Emotional and Physical Support
If this is your first time having a baby, you might be surprised by the physical toll it takes on your body. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a C-section, it’s going to be weeks if not months before you feel like yourself again. And between the overwhelming experience of taking on a newborn and the surge in hormones, your emotions will also be all over the place. Your doula will ensure you that this is all normal, which is often all you really need to feel better!
If the emotional or physical pain continue and are a concern to you both, your doula has plenty of information to use in referring you for further treatment. And the services won’t end without you having access to other local resources, including lactation support groups, parenting support, and pediatrician contact information.
If this isn’t your first baby, you’ve got siblings to deal with. And although those “First-Time Sissy” or “Brother Meets Baby” photos are adorable, there are going to be plenty of moments beyond the walls of the hospital that are anything but cute. Siblings often get jealous and regress. For instance, potty-trained siblings will often wet the bed for a while after Baby comes home. Postpartum doula services help ease this transition so everyone has the time and ability to feel the love.
Postpartum doula services are often catered to your needs, and can last from a few days to up to a few weeks after your child comes home. The amount of time the doula spends at your home is also up to you, as some families choose 1-3 days while others will do as many as 5 days a week. There are also daytime and nighttime doula services. Want to learn more about how we can help ease your post-delivery experience if you live in La Mesa or elsewhere in San Diego? Contact us at Root & Soul today.