I am shocked and happy to announce that I have a guest blogger. Her name is Katie. She contacted me and because I am very familiar with Doulas ( my best friend is a midwife) I thought I would share her post. You can connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.”
Postpartum Doulas Give New Moms Welcome Support
As any new mom knows, navigating the days following childbirth can present quite a challenge for her and her family. Bringing a new baby home means changing the family routines, balancing time and juggling responsibilities. These changes can take a toll on even the most experienced parent.
The transition home is especially hard after a cesarean delivery or complications. Most new moms need extra support during their first weeks back, but help may not be easy to find. If friends or family members cannot provide assistance, a postpartum doula is good alternative.
What is a Doula?
“Doula” is an ancient Greek word that means “a woman who serves.” Postpartum doulas assist women who are bringing a new baby home for the first time after childbirth or adoption. Doulas provide personal, nurturing support during the days and months following birth. Doulas can be used before, during and after delivery to help a mother transition through this big change in her life.
What are the Duties of a Doula?
If a mother decides to hire a doula before delivery, the benefits will be the education and emotional support she will receive from the doula. A doula can answer questions about labor signs, delivery expectations and options for post-delivery options like circumcision and umbilical cord blood banking.
A postpartum doula tends to a new mother’s unique needs, whether she is an experienced parent or a first-time mom. The doula’s duties include companionship, newborn care, breastfeeding support, sibling care, light housekeeping, errand-running and referrals. Pediatricians, parenting classes and lactation support are popular referral resources.
Many postpartum doulas provide services beyond the first few days after birth. They may work for a few hours a day or a few days a week. Some continue their support during the baby’s first year of life. One doula’s services may be different than another’s, so new moms must identify and define their needs to find a doula who can best meet them.
While a postpartum doula may offer newborn care, she is different from a baby nurse. Baby nurses focus solely on the new babies in their care, while doulas proved support for the new mom and her household. The concept of a doula is nothing new, but it has grown in popularity during recent years.
Where Can a New Mom Find a Doula?
Most postpartum doulas hold certifications from organizations like the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) and Doulas of North America (DONA) International. All doulas have training in infant care, child development, CPR and first aid.
The American Pregnancy Association can provide new moms with a doula list by ZIP code search. Childbirth educators, parenting support groups, birthing doulas and midwives will also refer new moms to postpartum doulas. Postpartum doulas charge for their services, typically by the hour.