What is a Postnatal Doula
Support, nourish & listen. Mum cares for baby and the postnatal doula cares for mum.
In western societies we now see the idea of a ‘resting period’ after birth as a luxury. To be a good mother means that we must get up and get on, as soon as we get home from the hospital. The care, love and attention is only really placed on looking after the newborn. This is a dangerous notion and one that leads to a very high number of parents dealing with anxiety or suffering from postnatal depression.
After emerging from pregnancy into parenthood, whether it be your first or fifth child, is an exhausting, all consuming, yet beautiful time. To allow yourself time to adjust to the new baby in your arms and the change in your world, it is imperative that you are looked after and supported
One of my roles as a postnatal doula is to support you in gaining confidence in the following areas, when it comes to looking after your newborn baby
But more than that, I am an emotional support for a mum when she is at her most vulnerable. Mum cares for baby and I care for mum. I will make sure that she is getting the support needed, to take on her new role. I will make sure that she is being nurtured, this will include home cooked meals, time for rest or even just someone to hold the baby whilst she showers.
Depending on a mothers or family’s needs, the day to day will look quite different for each client, but below gives you a little more understanding around where I fit in
- Initially I will give time for mum and dad to debrief the pregnancy and the birth. It’s a huge milestone to go through and we all need time and an ear to process.
- Then depending on what the family are looking for or needing that day or week, I could take baby after a feed and give the parents some time to rest.
- If baby is sleeping than I will, look around to see if I can lend a light hand around the house; quick tidy or throw some washing on.
- During this quiet period I will cook a meal (or 2) to make sure mum and the family are being nourished
- If there are any issues with feeding, I will work with mum to access where they are at and if a gentle tweak doesn’t help then I will help mum the professional support that she needs
- If mum is having issues around anxiety or bonding with baby, we will use some gentle techniques together from infant massage to instilling confidence in mum to know that she is making great steps and decisions in raising her baby
- I have a list of different practitioners if needed, from lactation consultants and can even book appointments to visit the GP
- I can also assist in setting up a very caring and gentle feed and sleep routine, if this is a path the family wish to take
- If the family already have children, I can assist in making them feel part of the transition to a bigger family
Gift mother with some self-care items, to make sure that she sis taking some small snippets of time for herself.