Is the idea of hiring help after you give birth new to you? Maybe you just stumbled upon "Postpartum Doulas" while trying to find a local night nanny or baby nurse. You aren't alone.
LOTS of folks are still not aware of the role Postpartum Doulas play in the lives of the families who hire them! And why are folks hiring people to help with their post-birth recovery and adjustment to life with babies anyway?! Well, I'm glad you asked ;)
We put together a list of the TOP 5 REASONS our clients hire us to adjust to life with newborn(s) (& we threw in a couple reasons people don't hire us!)
Extra set of hands
Well that's an easy one. What new parent couldn't use an extra set of hands?! Especially when those skilled, nurturing hands have helped care for dozens of other growing families. We've "been there, done that" with just about every situation you can imagine, and we'll not only help lighten your load... we'll teach you all the tricks and tips we have learned along the way. Your new parent learning curve will be exponentially shorter, and you'll have our nurturing, compassionate, judgment-free guidance along the way.
Keeping on top of all.the.things
It's a funny thing about having a baby... even the best-laid plans of lying low and taking it easy can be reeeeally hard to follow through on. Laundry keeps piling up, dishes still need to be done, meals need to be made, and if you have other children - well, you know how important it is to try and keep life as normal as possible for them as well. Your postpartum doula helps with all of this. We love getting "to-do" lists from our clients and cranking them out while you get to spend time on the couch with your baby, or taking a nap, or getting a nice, long, hot shower in peace (or all of the above!)
Ever wish your baby came with an instruction manual? Let me introduce you to your Postpartum Doula! It's true what they say, every baby really is unique. What worked with your friend/sister/stranger on the internet's baby isn't necessarily going to work for yours. Yes, babies follow predictable patterns of development and there are things that can be (almost) universally applied. But trying to feel comfortable and confident with diapering, feeding, swaddling, soothing YOUR OWN REAL LIVE BABY is just different than the imaginary baby in the baby books or from your newborn care class. Have no fear, your doula will be right by your side encouraging you, showing you tips, making suggestions based on what we observe and what you share with us about your unique family.
No family nearby
Remember when we all used to live in tight-knit villages and multi-generational homes where every new parent had hands-on help from sisters/aunts/grandmothers/neighbors? Yeah, neither do we! "The Village" just isn't what it used to be, and most families these days are building their own. Between support groups, classes, and online resources, there's a lot of help out there for new parents. But there's really nothing like the individualized care and judgment-free support of a doula in your home as you figure out your new normal.
(And psst! We have a secret... we get hired by a lot of folks who DO have family and friends nearby. But many of our clients tell us in confidence that they'd rather have us there. In addition to our support coming with all the latest evidence-based information, it's always free of any judgment or bias about what is best for you and your family. And a few little birdies have told us that's not always the case with well-meaning family and friends. Shhh.)
This may come as a surprise, but most new parents say that the one thing they REALLY need is more sleep ;) This is one of our favorite ways to help new families make the adjustment to parenthood with grace. We can stay with you overnight so that you and your partner can get some quality, restorative sleep. We can completely take over baby care and feedings or we can bring your baby to you at set times or on demand based on your feeding goals and preferences. It sounds like hyperbole, but sleep can literally be life-changing for new parents. Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to postpartum depression and can worsen depression symptoms. And even for parents that are "just" tired, it's amazing what a few nights of really good, restful, uninterrupted sleep can do.
So why on earth wouldn't someone with a new baby at home hire a postpartum doula??
They don't know we exist!
While people have been supporting each other after the birth of a child for as long as we've been on this planet, Postpartum Doulas are a relatively new profession. Some people have heard of "night nannies" or "baby nurses" but aren't aware that there's another more family-centered, comprehensive option for in-home support.
Support from Family and friends
The role of supporting new parents often falls to family and friends. And that's great! But we've heard from a lot of clients that that support comes with strings attached (ahem, judgment and all.the.unsolicited.advise) or they aren't able to stick around for as long as the support would be helpful. We never put a timeline on when you can use our support, we're literally available 24/7, 365 for as long as you'd like us to be with you.
Guilt?? Yup. We hear this! Mom guilt is real, y'all. And especially in the age of social media, where everyone presents the best Instagram-ready version of themselves, it's hard not to feel like you are the only one not mastering the parenthood thing.
Why can't I handle this on my own?
Having an infant shouldn't feel this hard.
Everyone else manages to do it on their own, why can't I?
We hear you. We've been there. We understand. And we promise you that almost NO ONE is able to get through parenthood - especially the newborn daze! - without support. It's ok to ask for help, it's ok to not love every minute of parenthood, it's ok to feel exactly how you are feeling. Now let us come over with a cup of coffee and take care of your baby for a spell so you can take a breath!