For years people were not aware of what doulas were. Over the past few years, adding a birth doula has become more common. However, many families do not realize that there are options for additional support following your little one’s birth. You might hear the word doula and think only of a birth doula – someone that provide support during your pregnancy and birth. A postpartum doula helps parents and families adjust during the fourth trimester and beyond. These are ways a postpartum doula supports clients.
• Educational Support: postpartum doulas inform clients with evidence-based information. This can be about topics, such as newborn care, healthy sleep habits, postpartum healing, and baby wearing.
• Feeding Support: doulas help support body and bottle feeding. They can refer clients to lactation consultants, pediatric dentists, chiropractors, or support groups if issues arise.
• Emotional Support: the journey of pregnancy, labor, and postpartum can be emotionally difficult and, at worst, traumatic. A postpartum doula is there to listen and empathize in a non-judgmental way as well as provide resources as needed.
• Physical Support: the arrival of a newborn is physically taxing for parents and siblings. Rest and healing is essential for physical, emotional, and mental health. A doula promotes healing with tools like a sitz bath or heating pads as well as taking care of other things to allow parents the time to rest.
• Household Support: a postpartum doula helps with light cleaning, laundry, and meal prep as well as spending time with an older child, so parents can rest and bond with the baby.
These are just a few of the things that a postpartum doula can assist with. Each family may need one or more types of support. The most important thing is that the parents feel supported.
Gigi Vera Vincent is a postpartum doula, newborn care specialist, non-toxic educator, mother to three toddlers, including twins, and a wife to her high school sweetheart.