What is a Postpartum Doula and Why You NEED One!
Note: Justina J. Dresson is a certified doula, Preferred MomCo Partner and author of this article.
As a new mother to be, you want to look at all your options when it comes after the long journey through pregnancy and childbirth. There are many things to consider - one of which is to have or not to have a Postpartum Doula. Postpartum Doulas offer many different services, such as a physical and emotional support for after you have given birth either in a hospital/birth center, or in your own home, as well as providing information to make the most informed choices when it comes to you and your child. An additional service they provide is helping with small tasks around the home, such as cooking, cleaning and organizing.
With the physical aspect of a Postpartum Doula’s profession, they may support you by showing you different exercises you may do to help tone your stomach area and they may refer you to a specialist that can help, as well. Using different heat sources can help with symptoms after birth, especially if it is not your first child. Such heat sources include: Warm water over the back or rice in a sock that helps relax the muscles, as well as rubbing the back.
On the emotional part, a Postpartum Doula gives invaluable words of encouragement to you and they support you in whatever choices you make for your particular style of parenting. They have no judgement. Even if they don't agree, they will never make you feel bad for doing or saying something in the moment. In addition, they make the postpartum experience as helpful as possible by giving you the tools to parent with confidence and they give you a chance to recoup and gain your foundation after a long process through pregnancy and birth.
As soon as you sign a contract with your Postpartum Doula, they will provide you with information about different techniques after birth and different workouts you can do to help you have the best after birth experience you can. In addition, they will show you different pros and cons to different choices such as bed sharing, breastfeeding vs not breastfeeding, and different parenting styles with articles and books. A Postpartum Doula may suggest you talk to your doctor about your health concerns after birth so that you are sure you both are on the same page when it comes to child development and your own recuperation. At that point your job is to read and decide what to do and from the client standpoint, the Postpartum Doula can’t tell you what to do but they can give enough information that you can make an informed decision. This is better than just trying to decide what to do with little information or none at all.
Sometimes in the craziness of trying to adapt to the new addition to the family, the mother’s wants and needs get lost because the child is now the central focus. To help relieve this, the Postpartum Doula is capable of handling the small, although mundane, tasks as they can quickly overcome a new mother with the much needed task of caring for the new infant or infants. This is where a Postpartum Doula comes in and removes those tasks from you so that you have a reasonable adjustment to focus on care and support for the newborn or newborns which helps with connection and bonding between mother and baby. The Postpartum Doula also helps mom take care of herself by suggesting she take a nap while the Postpartum Doula holds and entertains her children. This is, of course, with the consent from the mother and ultimately, it is mom's decision. With all the stress and pain from after birth, having to tack on all the house chores and responsibilities seems overwhelming, especially to a first time mother when you add then the raising of a child. It is a nice thing to know that the Postpartum Doula is trained to help ease the burden for the family so that it can be a better bonding experience and lessen the stress.
This is just the beginning of the multitude of reasons why a Postpartum Doula is needed and the incredible value the Postpartum Doula can bring. By having a means of physical and emotional support, the new mom can focus on the big picture, which is bonding and nurturing herself and her child or children. Equipping the mother to be with necessary and optional resources allows the new mom to make better decisions and also have a better plan worked out once the new addition or additions have arrived. Lastly, communication is key when it comes to the Postpartum Doula and her client with regards to her postpartum experience as she cannot serve to the fullest without an understanding of what the mother hopes to gain from having this support. With these great support pieces in place, it is an optimal benefit for the mother and the newborn or newborns for laying out and building a foundation for a close and stable family.
MomCo wants to thank Justina J. Dresson for her contribution and valued partnership. Be sure to like our Facebook page for an INCREDIBLE offer, exclusive to MomCo moms! Subscribe to our site for the latest on what we are doing and all of our offers from our partners.