What is a Postpartum Doula?
The Postpartum Doula is a trained professional that offers physical, emotional and informational support to a new family after the birth of their baby. Postpartum Doula Services include:
- Breastfeeding support
- Emotional support and encouragement
- Family nurturing
- Instruction to mom and/or other family members in the care of a newborn.
- Advice on self-care, nutrition and postpartum dealing
- Screening calls and visitors
- Light housekeeping, laundry, meal planning/preparation and errands
Why Hire a Postpartum Doula?
Many new families lack the continuity of care they need following the birth of their baby. The postpartum doula helps meet this need by educating, nurturing, and empowering mothers and families towards confidence in their new roles.
The Postpartum Doula’s job is to make the transition to parenthood easier for new parents, to help mom during her recovery period and to ascertain what the family needs help with and provide the instruction.
The main objective of the Postpartum Doula’s role is not to take over complete care of the newborn, but to educate and support the family so that they will feel empowered to care for their newborn themselves. Postpartum Doulas do NOT offer any medical advice or perform any medical or clinical procedures, but instead can offer parents referrals to appropriate studies and published books.
Statistics show that women who have support during the postpartum period tend to have less postpartum depression, breastfeed for a longer duration, and make a better adjustment to parenthood.
Finding a Postpartum Doula
It is important to find a doula that supports your parenting philosophy. You should be comfortable and confident with your doula. During an initial interview it is important to ask questions of your potential doula to make sure she is the doula for you.
Following are some suggested questions for a potential doula:
- Why did you decide to become a doula?
- How long have you been a doula?
- Are you trained? Are you certified? If so, by what organization?
- What are your fees? Do you have a minimum hourly requirement?
- What types of services do you provide?
- What types of services do you not provide?
- What do you provide that is different from what my partner can provide?
- What do you like best about being a postpartum doula?
- May we talk to previous satisfied clients?
- How do you handle conflicts with family members?
- What is your availability? Are you flexible to stay longer, if needed?
- Do you have a valid driving license?
- Do you know first aid/CPR?
- How do you feel about breastfeeding and what is your experience of it?
- How would you describe your philosophies on parenting? How do you feel about children?
- How do you help with sleep deprivation of mothers and fathers?
- Do you provide assistance with older siblings?
- Do you do light household organization and cleaning?
- Are you familiar with the signs of postpartum depression and how can you help me if I experience depression?
- What makes you a great postpartum doula?