So You're Thinking About Hiring a Postpartum Doula?

If you're like many expectant parents, you've probably spent a lot of time planning your child's birth. But what about after your baby (or babies!) arrives... have you considered what your family needs to make welcoming your little one(s) go as smoothly as possible? More and more families are turning to a postpartum doula for help with their newborns. 

You may be wondering "what do I need to know about Postpartum Doulas?"

We get it. This is a totally new concept for lots of people! So we've taken a stab at answering some very common questions about hiring a postpartum doula. After all, our specialty is promoting confident, prepared, and educated parents and answering questions is what we do!

1. What exactly is the role of my Postpartum Doula?

Your doula's job is to guide you and assist with any questions and concerns you have after your baby is born. Typically we support families in their home, but there are times postpartum doulas support families while their babies are still in the hospital or are staying in a hotel or other temporary living arrangement while they await adoption proceedings.  Our services are specific to each family, and a care plan is created in partnership with you to make sure your unique needs are met. We make sure new parents and their babies are cared for and comfortable, but more importantly we guide you in becoming confident in how to best care for your newborn(s).

2. What is a typical postpartum doula shift?

Your doula's schedule is customized to you and your family's needs. If you need full time support, doulas are available a full eight hour shift during the day. If you only need a few hours of help during the day, your doula can be there for a shorter four hour shift. Many families enjoy the support of their doula overnight! 

3. do postpartum doulas do overnight baby care?

If your biggest need is someone to help with your newborn's care overnight in the Asheville area, you can hire a Doulas of Asheville postpartum doula for overnight services. Help from an overnight doula means parents can really take some time to rest, and gives an extra set of hands when you are getting back to a sleep schedule. Imagine getting quality sleep while your baby is being well cared for! Whether you are planning to breastfeed or bottle feed, our postpartum doulas can provide overnight care for your baby, so you can truly rest. We can bring your baby to you for feedings if you'd like, leaving you to rest while we lovingly care for your baby as you sleep. Or we can take over nighttime feedings of pumped breast milk or formula according to your preferences.  

4. Isn't a doula the same as a baby nurse?

No, a doula doesn't place her attention solely on the new baby. A baby nurse takes on newborn care exclusively. During these early postpartum days the entire family can benefit from some nurturing. A postpartum doula is there to nurture the whole family and teach them how to support each other by helping navigate everyone through this transition. 

5. are Postpartum Doulas for moms with postpartum depression?

Your postpartum doula does not treat depression, and you don't have to be experiencing postpartum depression to benefit from a postpartum doula! That said, the unbiased and compassionate support of a postpartum doula can go a long way towards helping prevent postpartum depression as well as supporting mothers experiencing postpartum mood disorders. As postpartum doulas, we help guide new mothers and their partners into their new role and responsibilities, leaving them feeling less overwhelmed. Your doula is unbiased and is also an emotional resource for a new mother to discuss her concerns and questions. We are also trained to recognize the signs of perinatal mood disorders and will help connect you to resources that you may benefit from that are beyond our expertise and scope. 

6. How long will I require postpartum doula services?

On average, a doula works with a family postpartum for about 12 weeks. For complicated births and premature babies, this time frame might increase to 16 or more weeks depending on the care required. Your doula's schedule is entirely based on your schedule and needs, and can be tailored to fit your lifestyle. 

7. If I have a postpartum doula, will they take control of parenting?

No way! Your doula's care plan is designed to reflect the way you want to parent your child. A doula doesn't implement a particular parenting style or force one on a mother. It is our role to help a new mother develop her own parenting style and help her and her family implement that parenting style. 

8. Can a Postpartum Doula recommend medical resources?

Yes! With doula experience in both labor and postpartum, Doulas of Asheville's postpartum doulas have seen a little of everything and can recommend a wide variety of medical resources. Doulas aren't doctors, however we are skilled and certified in childbirth and newborn care practices and can recommend trusted medical professionals in the Asheville area based on your unique needs.

9. Are Postpartum Doulas only for first time moms?

All families can benefit from a helping hand and support! Mothers, fathers, single parents, partners... even veteran parents can benefit from doula resources and learn more about newborn care. New and experienced parents are welcome to seek our resources and create a care plan that works for them. 

10. Does my Postpartum Doula exclusively attend to baby care for me?

No, definitely not. A postpartum doula's job is to make life for a family welcoming a newborn easier, calmer, and more supported. Our care is directed at the requirements of the family and doulas typically assist with the entire household. Your doula can give you a helping hand with some tasks around the house, give you help with starting dinner, and even some light errands. 

The biggest take away here is your postpartum doula's dedication to the comfort and care of your entire family. We are family nurturers and are with you to make you and your partner feel confident and educated during these first few weeks and months with your new baby. 

If you have any questions regarding postpartum doulas, feel free to contact us and set up a consultation. You may be surprised to hear the ways our doula services can simplify your birth and life postpartum. 


Christine Robinson

Doulas of Asheville is western North Carolina's premier doula agency, providing birth doulas, postpartum doulas, and placenta specialists to Asheville families. We are proud to support any and all birthing choices, parenting styles. Our postpartum doulas are available to support families with new babies around the clock, from a few daytime shifts, to overnight newborn care, to 24-hour live-in support.