A postpartum doula is a relatively new concept in the baby and birth industry, at least here in the United States. And one that is long overdue. With communities no longer providing the support new moms need postpartum doulas are turning postpartum norms on their head. These doulas are helping moms learn how not only to survive the postpartum period but thrive and heal so that they can be the best moms and parents possible.
What is a postpartum doula?
At one point in time, it was normal for new mothers to have an entire community rally around them to help them heal and learn to care for their baby. Now we live in a world where moms are expected to bounce back almost immediately without the community support that once was considered so important. This leaves mothers struggling to keep their heads above water fighting depletion and depression at all-time highs. A postpartum doula helps fill in this gap so moms can feel supported and have the help they need to make it through those critical first few weeks.
Why do I need a postpartum doula?
Postpartum doulas can help prevent postpartum depression
When a mother doesn’t have the support they need they are more likely to become worn down and suffer from postpartum depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges in the months following the birth of their child. A postpartum doula knows the signs to look for and can help you recognize if you need help. They provide you with the support you need to make your transition into motherhood easier and help teach you how to care for yourself so you can mentally handle the challenges of motherhood easier.
An example of this could be the postpartum doula caring for baby while you take time to meet with a therapist.
A postpartum doula can take the stress off the mom so she can heal
Whether this is your first baby or your 5th, a postpartum doula can offer services to help reduce your stress so you can focus on healing and bonding with your new baby. Many postpartum doulas offer services like cleaning your home, making quick and easy meals and snacks for everyone, and helping to care for older children and toddlers. This can make it possible to rest after the birth of your new baby.
Many new mothers find themselves in messy houses overwhelmed and struggling to make it through each day feeling guilty that they can not do it all on their own like they could before their baby arrived. A postpartum doula will come in and take care of the things that need doing so you can rest and let go of some of that mom guilt over the house.
Postpartum doulas can help with care during times of crying
Babies go through times when they cry and nothing calms them down no matter how hard you try. This can be stressful to new moms and lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression. Many postpartum doulas offer services where they come in when you are overwhelmed and help snuggle your baby and walk around to help calm them while you take a moment to calm down and get some quiet or even nap so you can better cope with the situation and help meet your baby’s needs.
These postpartum doulas know that this is normal behavior for babies and are ready to deal with the crying without all of the stress and anxiety a new mother has over the situation. For moms, without anyone to teach them how to handle these situations this can be a life-saving service. Your postpartum doula can teach you tricks to make caring for your baby and keeping calm easier.
Postpartum doulas can help with proper care and nutrition in the postpartum period
Nutrition is something that is often overlooked during the fourth trimester. After all, you’ve just had a baby and your entire world and day completely revolve around your newborn’s schedule. However, nutrition plays a key role in the healing of your body and mind during the postpartum period.
This is why so many mothers suffer from postnatal depletion. In fact, this nutritional depletion is so common that damaged teeth and hair falling out are referred to as normal parts to the postpartum period when they are in fact signs that something could be wrong and that the mother is not properly recovering from pregnancy and childbirth.
A postpartum doula knows the importance of nutrition and food in the healing process. They know the signs to look for when it comes to nutritional deficiencies and what foods can be used to help fix these deficiencies. With proper care and nutrition, mothers bounce back from pregnancy and childbirth with more energy and are better equipped to handle caring for their children. Unlike mothers that have not had the proper care and nutrients that often suffer from postnatal depletion for many years to come.
Postpartum doulas can help to navigate breastfeeding and lactation
While not all mothers choose to breastfeed, those that do often see struggles in the first few weeks. For first-time moms, the rate of breastfeeding success is low due to a lack of support for new mothers. A postpartum doula can help you navigate issues and when needed can call in a lactation specialist that can help solve bigger problems so you have a better chance at breastfeeding success. Your doula may also be able to help with not only latching and discomfort during breastfeeding but also provide help if/when pumping as well.
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