The Postpartum Doula
A woman is not meant to give birth alone. She does best when surrounded by people she loves and trusts. She needs people to rally her, hold her hand, encourage her and make her smile and laugh.
After she gives birth, she needs the same support. She still needs people she trusts to rally around her, take care of her, give her wise advice, and bring smiles to her face.
In our culture women are isolated from family and are left alone to take care of one or more children on their own. After the high of birth fades away, the reality of the task ahead my seem daunting, among other things. These feelings of isolation and of being overwhelmed can often lead to postpartum depression.
Enter the Postpartum Doula
Since we no longer live in tribes, villages and communities where child rearing is a shared task, postpartum doulas have arrived to fill that void. Postpartum doulas do it all. Since they are experienced in childbirth they can help process birth stories (she may have even been at the birth), assist with breastfeeding, educate and help with baby care, cook, bring food and drinks to you, clean, make sure you shower, walk the dog, and play with other children.
Postpartum doulas help keep mothers sane by continuing to mother the mother – as it was always intended.
What Does a Postpartum Doula Do?
My mother arrived the morning after I had Gabriel. My husband was so relieved to have her present. She didn’t take Gabriel away from me to “help” but cooked us meals, did laundry, cleaned, helped care for and troubleshoot caring for an itty-bitty baby. She held him (we didn’t want him to be put down) while I slept.
We literally would have been up a creek without a paddle without my mother. My mother, mothered me as I transitioned into my new role.
When she left I cried, but I didn’t feel like I needed her as much as I did that first few weeks. I was confident that I could do it. Shoot, I took Gabriel to the local library I was so pumped up.
If your mother or mother-in-law can’t be there (or if you don’t want them to be there because they just wouldn’t be helpful) consider hiring a postpartum doula. Those first few weeks are a tender, special time. Get the support that you need and deserve.
If you are local, email me for more information about my postpartum doula services.