Who needs a postnatal doula?
Every woman who has just given birth deserves to be cared for. You deserve time to spend exclusively with your new baby, and time to rest and recuperate, without household chores on your mind. A sympathetic ear from a caring professional is also helpful.
Often all that is needed, especially with first time parents, is the confidence, encouragement and gentle support that I as a postnatal doula give them to help them care for their baby in the way that they hope to.
Women who have had a caesarean section usually benefit greatly from a postnatal doula while they heal as they are ‘not supposed to’ carry anything very heavy and should not drive for the first few weeks post c-section so many simple tasks such as picking up their new baby from a cot may be harder and more awkward or they may need a postnatal doula to drive them to clinic appointments or to pick up older siblings from school.
What is the difference between a postnatal doula, a nanny, and a maternity nurse?
A nanny normally cares for babies and children exclusively. A maternity nurse will care exclusively for the baby. Whereas a postnatal doula specialises in the care of you, the mother, the household and siblings; offering help with the baby when needed or as requested. She is there to empower you to be the mother that you want to be and ‘mother the mother’.
I already have children and so am confident in all my baby skills, how can a postnatal doula help me?
A new baby always takes up a lot of your attention and energy. A postnatal doula can help you find time and the energy to look after and get to know your new baby and be with the rest of the family. She can carry out chores, light housework, cook light meals, do the school run and shopping as well as give the older siblings a lot of extra attention so that they too can adapt more easily to life with their new baby brother or sister. They will also help you sort out the challenges a new family member can bring.
Can I use a postnatal doula even if I have other support at home (such as my husband/mother/friend) or will she take over from them and make them feel useless?
A postnatal doula should enhance the experience for all others who are also helping/supporting you and your family by providing a calm presence and allowing everyone to participate to the level of their comfort and ability. She should not take over at all. She is to provide support for your baby to integrate into your family and this includes all members of your support team. Many partners/family members feel that having a postnatal doula encouraged them to participate more than they would have otherwise because she could model for them baby care and handling techniques that they may never have thought of on their own and she encouraged them to bond with the new baby while she helped in other ways around the house.
I am breastfeeding my baby. Can I still use your night-time doula support?
Yes of course. I can bring your baby to you when they wake for a feed so that you don’t have to get out of bed. I can then burp, change and soothe your baby back to sleep. If you have been expressing milk I can also use your milk in a bottle to feed your baby while you get some much needed rest.
While you and your baby are sleeping soundly I can do a few chores around the house such as light housework, ironing and folding away laundry, preparing a meal for the next day/freezer- as long as it does not disturb your sleep.