Postpartum doulas are medical professionals who provide families with information and assistance on newborns’ feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing, and coping skills for new parents. They might also help with light housework like:
- Fixing a meal
- Vacuuming house
- Encourage self-care
- Supporting new mothers through postpartum depression
- Help involving an older child in this new experience etc.
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Why hire a postpartum doula and what kind of services do they provide?
They may sound a little intimidating to many parents but only new parents having issues or a mother suffering from anxiety and postpartum depression know their actual worth. They not only offer support but also support new parents with physical or emotional recovery during the fourth trimester which is the period after delivery. If needed extra help in these areas, a doula is also a great source for finding the right places to get what is needed.
They do not do things like offer medical advice, offer medical care, or speak for the mother or family on any medical matters. Instead, the doula provides the information, resources, and support. Just after childbirth, women experience a range of challenges and concerns, including recovery from delivery, sleep deprivation, infant care, etc and they usually don’t visit a doctor before 6 weeks after delivery, in that scenario a doula helps in cooping up with all of these issues and problems.
Hiring a doula can be a little challenging to some parents as they usually don’t know what to ask or how to interview them. Following are a bunch of questions that should be asked before hiring one:
- Are you certified?
- Have you taken any sort of relevant training?
- Do you have any prior experience with breastfeeding?
- Can you tell us a little about yourself?
- What makes you feel so interested in being a doula?
- What is the most important part of your job?
- Do you have any backup doula? etc
Asking these questions will help in determining which doula would be a great fit for your family. Many doulas are well trained but making sure to feel comfortable and connected to the doula is utterly a great way to find one for the expanding family.
What are the benefits of postpartum doulas?
The work of a postpartum doula expands after the birth, in contrast to a birth doula. Their principal objective is to make the mother feel comfortable as much as possible with the child and help her in doing as such. The tasks may vary from mother to mother, and she is well-appointed to do her best in any situation. Here are a few of the benefits of hiring one:
Support for the new mother
Once the baby has been delivered, the mother requires a lot of caring and support. The basics include eating healthy food, drinking water at regular intermissions, and most importantly, taking proper rest. They will help in running errands, cooking food, and sometimes taking care of other siblings, etc. to allow the new mother to recover. In the case of c-section delivery, a doula can assist the mother with the infant, offer support and resources, rest and healing, and assist in hassle-free recovery.
Breastfeeding and Newborn Support
They are equipped with complete knowledge of handling infant babies, and they help mothers to ease up the process of parenting and nurturing. The next big hurdle after giving birth is often breastfeeding and it can be a challenging experience for both the mother and the baby. In such cases, the doula helps with knowledge of newborn behavior and soothes the process of breastfeeding or transitioning to bottle feeding.
They can be a great help when in need. They might help with little housekeeping like vacuuming the house, taking care of the elder child when the infant and mother are bonding, or making some quick meals for the family.
After the very fatiguing phase of giving birth, the infant is not the only one who needs to be taken care of. It is also important to make sure that the new mother is in a stable condition because the immediate postpartum is a critical stage for both the mother and her baby. A care plan for postpartum mothers is essential for both mother and newborn because the baby is dependent on the mother and her health is important to everyone.
Care within the first weeks
The first weeks after delivering a baby is very important for any mother and a doula will do anything to provide comfort and soothe. Whether it is by giving her a warm bath, making her some tea, or by giving her some rest.
Bathing and Sitz Baths
To prevent infections after delivery, it is recommended to take showers rather than baths for two weeks. If showers are not possible, the doula will help fill the tub with three to four inches of water and leave the drain open and the water running. This is called a sitz bath and may be continued if needed for ease or recommended by the doula.
If the mother is not getting proper sleep at night, a doula will help the mother to sleep by taking care of the infant at night or by making some soothing drink that will help her in falling asleep.
There is almost nothing more magical and mesmerizing than bringing home a newborn baby. They are finally here, and it is time to adjust to life with the new addition. As much as new parents are excited the caregivers are also excited to meet the little one. But it is not always about meeting the new one and celebrating but also taking care of them and their family by helping them out with different chores. The caregiver’s duties for postpartum mothers include:
- Assisting with light housekeeping chores like picking up discarded items, dusting surfaces, vacuuming, and sweeping.
- Doing the laundry so that the family could least have clean clothes
- Cook healthy full nutrition meals for the mother to gain strength
- While the newborn may be the immediate focus, other children in the home will still need care. Caregivers can assist in taking care of other children once maternity or paternity leaves end.
- Be with the mother who is feeling alone or suffering from postpartum depression to make her feel at ease.