During the latter stages of pregnancy, parents-to-be begin to turn their attention towards the Big Event: the birth itself and your new baby’s much anticipated arrival!
It’s all about hospital bag essentials, breathing exercises and making sure you have all the necessary items ready to bring your baby home.
In the days and weeks after your baby arrives, life can seem like a bit of a whirlwind as your body and mind adjust to parenthood. This is where postpartum doulas can step in.
Unlike birth doulas, who assist mothers during pregnancy and childbirth, postpartum doulas provide support for parents after the baby is born and through the first six weeks of your baby's life. Here are some of the ways postpartum doulas can support new parents.
Teaching Practical Care
Everything you learn leading up to the birth - breathing exercises, nesting and how to fit a car seat!- is often aimed at the delivery part. But for new parents, the practicalities of caring for a newborn can take you back to the early days of grade school: new, exciting, and a bit of a learning curve!
While the role of a postpartum doula can differ from one family to another, at their most basic level, postpartum doulas provide support and information about things like infant feeding practices and tips and tricks for calming your newborn.
They’ll also guide you through dealing with the new responsibilities that come with becoming a parent, including promoting self-care, lending an ear to any questions or anxieties and referring you to additional support for all topics parenting/baby.
Providing External, Unbiased Parenting and Emotional Support
It isn't the role of postpartum doulas to dispense medical advice or treatment - however, their knowledge and experience in both infant education and family situations can be extremely effective in supporting the emotions of both parents. In fact, the International Childbirth Education Association describes the role of a postpartum doula as “mothering the mother.”
While family and friends can provide a great support network when couples welcome a new baby, sometimes expectations or ideas can be expressed on how things should be done, based on other personal experiences of parenthood. Having access to unbiased, evidence-based information, by way of a postpartum doula, can help parents make an informed decision on what is in the best interest of their own family.
Being able to receive ongoing emotional, as well as practical, support can help to ease any tension, anxiety or stress when it comes to navigating life with a newborn.
Giving New Parents a Break
Life with a newborn can be exciting, rewarding, fulfilling and - well, a little full on! As well as caring for your baby, postpartum doulas can cook, do light housework and help your other children adjust to their new sibling.
This gives you a chance to catch up with your friends and family, go out for a walk or get some much-needed rest.
Are you expecting a baby, or maybe you have a newborn? Follow us on Facebook or Instagram. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for our latest news and updates, or for more useful, baby-handling knowledge from our experienced Joeyband™ team.