The postpartum period is so full of discovery, transition and in some ways uncertainty.
This is where having a doula present can mean so much to a new family. In the flurry of sleepless nights, breastfeeding challenges and diaper changing, a mother needs to feel supported. How can a doula offer support during the postpartum period? Well, just as a doula may have been present for the birth, she may also be present to help a mother find her way during the postpartum period. This does not necessarily mean coming to the home and taking over care of the baby, but assisting where needed. Sometimes this means helping with a baby’s first bath, or providing a nourishing meal and possibly doing a load of the baby’s laundry. The key to a healthy postpartum period is support! Providing support will also mean lending, not only one’s hands to the new family; but their ears as well.
Some mothers find solace and joy in retelling their birth story; however it may have turned out.
Sharing her journey helps her to move forward, as she is able to put the pieces together to form her experience. A doula can listen intently, not to respond, but to affirm a mother’s unique birth story. This may be an emotional experience in many ways, and every mother may not want to share. It is helpful for her to know she is welcome to if she likes.
Let us also not forget how the other family members are processing their feelings during the postpartum period. There will no doubt be many changes to adjust to; especially for siblings and partners. It is very important for communication to continue during the postpartum period. What activities can encourage bonding between all family members? How can the doula suggest or even provide such options? A doula can be available during busy transitioning times like after school (for older siblings) when mom might be feeling overwhelmed. A doula can offer words of encouragement; ensuring everyone that the postpartum period is indeed challenging, but so amazing at the same time. When a mother feels supported after the birth of her baby, she can focus her energy on healing and caring for her newborn.
“Postpartum doulas are the latest (and earliest) trends.” Zoe Hicks, Postpartum Project Founder