A postpartum doula is an experienced, knowledgeable and nurturing companion that comes alongside a mother and her family in the immediate postpartum period. She is there to answer your questions, encourage you and be an extra set of hands ready to help you in any way so you are free to recover and get to know your new little one.
A postpartum doula is a valuable member of your support team and supports you and your family by:
- Helping to prepare an individual postpartum plan (if desired)
- Supporting breastfeeding
- Helping with infant care & baby bathing
- Helping with infant comfort measures
- Caring for older siblings
- Running errands for you
- Providing community information
- Helping with household tasks, such as organization, laundry and light housework
- And so much more!
A postpartum doula DOES NOT:
- Replace your partner
- Perform any clinical tasks
- Make decisions for your or your support persons
Why should I hire a postpartum doula?
There are many reasons why a family may choose to hire a postpartum doula. Some of these include:
- Knowledgeable and experienced help in all areas of postpartum recovery and infant care
- Allows mother and partner to focus on their new little one and trust that the things they need taken care of will be done
- Help with the transition to parenthood
- Help transitioning siblings
- Help caring for multiples
- Extra set of hands for single mothers
- Can reduce the risk of postpartum depression
- Gentle guidance and reassurance increases parenting confidence
My partner will be taking time off why would I need a doula?
It is very common that mother's think if their partner is taking time off work that they will not need any other extra help. It is important to remember that your partner is new to parenting this baby as well and may also be tired and overwhelmed and may also like extra help around the house and someone knowledgeable in postpartum and infant care to bounce ideas off of. Doulas support the entire family and continue to provide that support after your partner returns to work if you need it.
When should I hire a postpartum doula?
You want to aim to have your doula lined up early in the third trimester. This gives you enough time to build a relationship, explore your options and get the information you need to make the best decisions for your care. Doula's have limited spaces and those can fill up quickly. Most doula's will try to accommodate mothers that request care closer to their due date. Just remember babies come on their own schedule and some like to come early!