You may have heard of a birth doula, but there are actually doulas that specialize in different areas and topics surrounding childbirth, including postpartum. There are several reasons you need a postpartum doula.
A postpartum doula is a doula that specializes in the care for the entire family after the birth of a new baby — mother, father, and siblings are all included! A postpartum doula can help the family adjust to their new life and make a smoother transition for everyone.
5 Reasons You Need a Postpartum Doula
#1 Postpartum is messy, and you need support from an expert!
Postpartum is the period of time that it takes the uterus to shrink back down to its pre-pregnant shape and size. It’s called the “involution period”. Often when you speak about postpartum, people, especially men, think you’re talking about postpartum depression! But no, this is the 4-6 weeks following the birth of a baby, and it is filled with leaking breasts, to leaking lochia vaginally, to leaking tears. Having an expert around telling you that all this leaking (and then some) is normal sure calms a troubled soul.
#2 Postpartum days and nights are mixed up, and you need support from an expert!
Sleep deprivation is a real deal, and it can often be the deal breaker that makes you think that the tiny human in your arms is the most adorable, wrinkly thing you’ve ever seen. But when you start throwing a pillow over your head and crying because it’s the 5th time you’ve gotten up at night, you know you probably should have hired a doula. A night doula can soothe that precious one down so you wake up rested and ready to shower that little human with kisses again. SLEEP is a must and if you don’t know what day it is, what time of day it is, or what month it is, it’s time to call a postpartum doula.
#3 Healthy food is medicine. Having a doula bring you a warm bowl of soup or a fresh plate of cut up fruit is the support you need to heal from this incredible life change.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve walked in a home and I ask a woman if she has eaten. If she says, “Yes,” then I start to ask more pointed questions to find out why she looks and feels lousy. Maybe she’s eaten a candy bar and had a Diet Coke to drink. No wonder she is feeling sluggish, tired, frustrated, and overdone! Postpartum doulas prepare simple, yet healthy meals so women and their families can feel themselves again.
RELATED: Top 5 Practices for Postpartum Self-Care
#4 Relationships during postpartum can be strained. Having a postpartum doula to support the changes in the family dynamics is so helpful.
Try having a cesarean, or a long, long birth, and coming home to a couple toddlers. Try having a NICU baby and having teenagers or a partner that works out of town a week after the baby is born. All real scenarios that have happened in my profession. Being a soft place to land for women and being flexible in whatever family circumstances arise is a gift of a well-balanced postpartum doula, professionals that fill in quietly and efficiently where needed.
#5 NO ONE ever regrets having postpartum support.
If you even think you are in need of an extra set of hands, then do it. Hire a postpartum doula. Have a professional help you manage this emotionally-laden time with expertise and goodness. Healing will occur. Life will move forward more smoothly. Partners and family members will adjust more quickly and the baby will grow and be happy.
Kristy Huber is Utah’s doula! She’s heading into her 28th year as a birth and postpartum doula. She has also been a childbirth educator for many years and taught in college settings, a hospital, and out of her home. Postpartum doula work is her passion and she has done many trainings for women in the Intermountain West. Birth Boot Camp is thrilled to have Kristy on board as one of the creators of our newly launched Postpartum Doula training! You can find Kristy at www.khdoula.com .