If you don’t know me already, my name is Hannah and I am a certified postpartum doula in Houston, TX.
Most people I talk to have heard of a labor doula before, but postpartum doulas remain a mystery to most. I want to answer some questions about what postpartum doulas do and shed some light on this mysterious and impactful service.
*By the way, “postpartum” just means “after birth” and doesn’t automatically refer to postpartum depression.*
So...What does a postpartum doula do?
To put it simply – a postpartum doula ‘s job is to support new families.
Our main focus and first priority is helping our clients recover from giving birth.
Our second priority is helping your new little one adjust to life outside of your body.
And third, we will focus on anything that may distract from the first two things.
Postpartum support looks different for each client, depending on their needs. But regardless of what that support looks like, your postpartum doula will be there for you – day or night.
Here are some of the things you can expect:
Listening and talking
Postpartum doulas understand what you’re going through and we get it. We are there to listen to you with no bias or judgement. Your feelings are valid and we are here to hear you and help you talk through it all.
Postpartum doulas are experts in infant care and postpartum recovery. New parenthood is filled with unknowns and can be overwhelming. It can be nice to have someone reassuring you that what you are experiencing is normal. We are also trained to recognize when things are outside the scope of normal.
Helping you navigate and manage postpartum life
Adjusting to life with a new baby can be difficult. All of a sudden, life is very different with this new little family member. We can help you find your new normal, arrange your new schedule, figure out how to get sleep, and create new habits.
Giving you a rest
We are happy to give you a break. If you want some time to yourself to nap, take a shower, spend time with your other children or your partner, just relax – anything – we’re happy to give you that time. It’s so important that new parents have time to take care of themselves.
Recognizing the signs of postpartum mental health disorders
Your postpartum doula is trained to recognize the sings of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and postpartum psychosis. While we are not medical professionals and don’t diagnose these things, having someone to gently help you realize when you might need help can be hugely beneficial.
Whether you plan to breastfeed, bottle feed or a combination of both – we’re trained to support you. We can help with latching, feeding positions, burping, pumping, and so much more.
Light household assistance
While we are not housekeepers, most postpartum doulas are willing to help you keep up with your home. Like I said before, we focus on anything that might distract you from healing or adjusting to life with your baby. Chores are the last thing any new mom should be worrying about. Laundry, washing dishes, tidying up, fixing a meal for you…all things we can do to help!
Offering resources and referrals
As birth professionals, we have connections! Need help finding a great pelvic floor therapist, a chiropractor, an IBCLC, a newborn photographer? We know who you should call! We also know where to find the answers to almost any question you may have. Just ask!
If having a postpartum doula sounds like something you, or someone you love, might be interested in, please reach out to me! I would love to talk to you and answer any other questions you may have about what postpartum doula support could look like for you.
And lastly, if you think postpartum doulas sound like an important resource for new parents, please feel free to share this blog with any expecting families you know and help me spread the word!