You are finally home caring for your new little one and it hits you… how are you going to take care of a newborn while also caring for yourself?
Your loving partner tries to meet your needs, but he also has needs and the sleep deprivation is catching up with the both of you.
You think this is par for the course, a challenge all parents simply push through and survive.
Contrary to common experience, the postnatal period does not have to be that way.
Sure, it always comes with challenges but it does not have to be only survivable. How?
With adequate support, like that of a trained postnatal doula. Just like a birth doula will support and nurture you through the birth process, a postnatal doula helps to ease the transition to life with a new infant.
Here are 8 reasons to consider hiring one:
#1: A Postnatal Doula Can Help Speed Healing
Whether you had an uncomplicated vaginal birth, emergency c-section or any birth in between, rest is necessary for healing. A postnatal doula encourages rest by helping with infant care, light household organisation and sibling care. When you have more time to rest, your body is likely to heal more efficiently. The sooner you heal, the sooner you are able to enjoy being active with your growing family.
#2: A Postnatal Doula Will Feed You!
You need good food and a postnatal doula can help make sure you get it. You should nourish your body as it heals from pregnancy and to keep your body healthy – for you sake – while breastfeeding. Many times the first thing a postnatal doula asks at each visit is what you would like to eat. Different doulas provide different services, from nutritious home cooked meals to arranging for take out from your favourite spot. Whatever services your postnatal doula provides, you can rest assured she will help you to eat well.
#3: A Postnatal Doula is a Hands On Parenting and Baby Expert
Nervous about giving baby their first bath? Forgotten the swaddling techniques you practiced in the hospital? No worries! Your postnatal doula can help answer your questions, explain infant care techniques and support you as you build your confidence in caring for your baby. Many postnatal doulas are well connected in the birth and parenting professionals' community, and are able to connect you with other professionals as needed.
#4: A Postnatal Doula Helps YOU Sleep
Yes, a postnatal doula can help your baby to sleep, but a postantal doula can also ensure you get some sleep. Whether it is a nap during the day while she watches over baby, or some much needed sleep stretches between feeds overnight, a postnatal doula can facilitate rest. A postnatal doula also teaches you how to cope with the demands of a newborn in a way that helps to facilitate as much rest as possible between visits.
#5: A Postnatal Doula Helps You Figure Out Your Parenting Style
A postnatal doula offers evidenced based information and non-judgmental support as you figure out what parenting techniques and styles work best for your family. From babywearing to sleeping options and everything in between, she can help you learn about a variety of parenting topics. Unlike some well meaning friends and family, a professional postnatal doula will clearly decipher between opinion, anecdotes and evidenced based information as you navigate your options.
#6: A Postnatal Doula Can Help With Breastfeeding
A postnatal doula has the time to observe you, your baby and your home environment, to help you establish a day and nighttime routine that works well for you. If unexpected challenges arise she can help you implement any feeding plans recommended by your lactation consultant. Women with adequate support in the postnatal period are more likely to reach their personal breastfeeding goals.
#7: A Postnatal Doula Offers Physical, Emotional and Practical Support
Just like a birth doula, a postnatal doula offers well rounded support. A postnatal doula listens as you process your birth experience, and offers company as you nurse your baby. She is an extra set of hands to help around the home and to run a quick errand. Some postnatal doulas are also trained to offer postpartum belly binding and other holistic care options to aid in healing. Some also offer valuable birth reclaming ceremonies, for those who have had a traumatic or disappointing birth experience.
#8: A Postnatal Doula Helps New Parents Simply Enjoy Their Baby
Imagine resting on clean sheets, your calm partner beside you and your newborn baby snuggled peacefully on your chest. Sound amazing? This is what a postnatal doula is for, to help you have a positive postpartum experience. A postnatal doula helps you focus on the positive amidst the changes and challenges that come with a new baby.
The postnatal period does not have to be something parents simply survive, it can be a time spent creating a close bond and cherishing the fleeting newborn snuggles. It's a time that should be spent hibernating as you heal and bond with baby. Whether you are expecting your first baby or you fifth, a postnatal doula can help you thrive, not simply survive, during those precious early days.