Postpartum Doulas- What are they? What do they do?

When you hear the word doula… What do you think of? Most people would probably respond pregnancy and childbirth if I had to guess based on conversations I have with people.

But did you know there is more than one kind of doula? Labor or Birth Doulas are one type, but a lesser-known type of doula is the Postpartum Doula. This is unfortunate because postpartum doulas are gaining popularity worldwide for the huge amounts of assistance they give to new mothers AFTER the birth is over. Any mother can tell you- pregnancy and childbirth is just the beginning of an AMAZING journey that has ups, downs, laughing, crying, challenges, BIG WINS, and so much more!

Women need help Postpartum as much or possibly even more than they do during pregnancy and birth. All of a sudden there is an entirely new human to take care of, diapers to be changed, feedings every 2 hours, meals to be made, laundry to be done and SOMEHOW mom is supposed to sleep, go for a walk, shower, and bond with this tiny human that she grew for 9 months. Much of the time- this mother is surviving solely off of caffeine and less than 4 hours of sleep. But guess what? MOTHERS DO NOT HAVE TO DO IT ALONE! Also, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are trained professionals who can help! They my friends are called Postpartum Doulas.

Check out this New York Times Article on why EVERYONE needs a Postpartum Doula!

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/02/style/postpartum-doula.html

So what exactly does a postpartum doula do?

The postpartum doula offers many services to her clients, but her main goals are to help “mother the mother” and nurture the entire family as they transition into life with a newborn. This would include doing things to help mom and dad feel more confident in their roles, sharing education on family adjustment, and tending to the unique needs of a new mother.

A postpartum doula works with each family individually to find out their particular needs.

Some of the duties that a postpartum doula will perform include:

  • Breastfeeding support

  • Help with the emotional and physical recovery after birth

  • Light housekeeping so that mom does not feel so overwhelmed

  • Running errands

  • Assistance with newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding and comforting

  • Light meal preparation

  • Baby soothing techniques

  • Sibling care

  • Referrals to local resources such as parenting classes, pediatricians, lactation support and support groups

Postpartum doulas provide service for a family anywhere from a few days up to months after bringing home a new baby. Families may have the doula work 1 or 2 days a week or 5-7 days a week- packages are usually customizable to fit the family’s needs with a minimum number of hours each shift.

Postpartum doulas often offer night time service to help the family transition more smoothly into the challenges of night time parenting. Each doula offers different services, so it’s important that each family decide what their needs are and find a doula who can meet those needs.

How much does a postpartum doula cost?

The price of postpartum doula services vary dependent on what part of the country you live in, what type of service you need (day or night time) and the skill level of the doula. Postpartum doulas usually charge by the hour and usually require a minimum amount of hours of service.

The range of costs could to be anywhere from $20-50 an hour. Some doulas offer discounts if you book them for a certain amount of hours or if you pay in advance. More and more families are asking for postpartum doula service as a shower or baby gift from family and friends.

This is especially helpful for new families who have little or no family support nearby. Postpartum doula service may also be paid for using money from a family’s flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) dependent on what the guidelines are for their particular plan.

Where do I find a qualified postpartum doula?

Search here for a postpartum doula near you!

https://www.prodoula.com/prodoula-search/

https://doulamatch.net/search

Looking for a Postpartum Doula in Mississippi? Contact me today!

Leah

leah@doulainmississippi.com

Evidence on Postpartum Doulas:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048903/

https://icea.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Role-Scope-of-Postpartum-Doula-3.pdf

http://americanpregnancy.org/planning/post-partum-doula/