What is a
What Is a Postpartum Doula?
The postpartum doula offers evidence-based information and gives emotional, physical, and educational support solely. The doula cares for the parents and the family in their home in the first few weeks following the birth.
The postpartum doula does NOT perform clinical or medical tasks. The doula provides non-medical support solely.
Postpartum doulas provide daytime or nighttime services and some are available for 24 – hour care and traveling. Most postpartum doulas have a minimum of 4 hours per day and 8 hours per night. All doulas work with back-ups just in case. Postpartum doulas charge on an hourly basis or a flare-rate for 24 hour care and work with contracts and retainers.
After your initial conversation you will meet the doula for a free in-person interview. This usually takes place with both parents present and most likely in your home.
Once you’ve hired your postpartum doula, you will meet with your doula once prenatally to get to know one another better and where the doula prepares you for the postpartum period.
After your baby is born, the doula will meet you in your home to start the services.
Postpartum Doula Services include
- Provide support for the emotional adjustment to parenthood.
- Screen for Perinatal Mental Health Disorders.
- Assistance with infant feeding, including information about pumping.
- Offer support for physical recovery after childbirth.
- Demonstration on newborn care, such as diapering, bathing, swaddling, baby carriers, etc.
- Help with gassy and colicky baby and offer coping techniques.
- Field medical and non-medical questions pertaining to newborn care.
- Assist with the care of older siblings and helping them adjust to the new family member.
- Help integrate the baby with other family members such as grandparents.
- Provide support for pet adjustment.
- Small meal preparation for parents and family members.
- Organization of the nursery, changing and feeding stations.
- Baby’s laundry.
- Running errands and grocery shopping.
- Light housekeeping such as dishes.
The Postpartum Doula…
- Allows parents to rest, shower and nurture themselves.
- Helps parents to eat properly and drink plenty of fluids.
- Listens and helps process the birth story.
- Validates the normal adjustment process.
- Supports partners through their transition into the new role.
- Provides community resources as needed.
- Educates in infant soothing and coping techniques for parents.
- Helps parents to develop their own styles of nurturing and bonding with baby.
The Postpartum Doula Does Not…
- Evaluate parents’ or baby’s medical condition.
- Take over the care of the baby.
- Insist new parents care for their baby in a particular style.
- Do heavy housekeeping.
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