What does a postpartum doula do, anyway?
This question. It's a tough one to answer. Lots of doulas even have a hard time with it. How to sum up all of the things we postpartum doulas do to support families? It's a real challenge. So naturally, I did what I always do when I need answers: I asked the wise hive-mind of Facebook. Here's what people said when I asked what sort of support they appreciated or wished for when they had a new baby at home.
- bringing over groceries
- playing with older children
- doing laundry
- preparing food
- doing dishes
- having someone to provide reassurance that physical, emotional, and mental changes are normal
- helping to get comfortable with breastfeeding
- cleaning the bathroom
- help with housework without making parents feel inadequate
- walking the dog
- caring arms to hold the baby while parent naps, showers, or has a massage (yes, postpartum massage house calls are a thing!)
- someone to help out who won't stay to visit
- someone to visit (sometimes new parenthood is lonely!)
- helping with baby care - someone who knows what is normal for babies
- reminders to take it easy, physically and emotionally
- support to take some of the load off the husband or partner and give them a break
Guess what? All those things you wish you had help with? This is what postpartum doulas do. And more. It's fairy godmother level stuff.
We are there for you in the moment - with supportive, knowledgeable, non-judgemental care - to attend to your needs. To do what needs doing. To see what you need and offer suggestions or information that might help. To offer perspective and emotional support on those tough days. To show you how amazing you are as a mother, as a father, as a parent. Because you really, truly are.
You can read the whole thread here. And I'd love for you to join my growing community on Facebook, too.