Postpartum Doula support might be my favourite thing about my job. Working with families to help with baby after birth is deeply satisfying. It makes a big difference in their lives.
What does a Postpartum Doula do?
A Postpartum & Infant Care Doula is someone who specializes in caring for families after a baby is born. Essentially, they’re like a combination of a nanny, a personal assistant, a baby nurse, a housekeeper and a professional best friend. While they don’t do any of these things exclusively, they do a little bit of all of these things.
The doula’s goal is to help the mother recover from birth and succeed at parenting. They may make food for the new mother or the whole family. The doula might tidy up around the living area or the kitchen. She could help a family organize baby clothes and gear. They may help with baby feedings and sleep so a tired mother can sleep, too. She might help the parent improve breastfeeding. In addition, she may work with the family at night to ensure everyone sleeps better and longer.
And sometimes the doula and the mother just talk.
Sometimes they just talk for hours. They may talk about their childhoods and their families. They may talk about the changing relationship between the mother and her partner. They might also tell each other funny stories. A doula might listen to a woman talk through her challenges.
Ultimately, the most important part of these conversations is the listening.
The doula listens with an open mind and an open heart. She listens without judgement. She listens with enthusiasm.
During one such appointment, recently, I listened to my client for half of the shift. I sat on a comfy sofa, a hot cup of tea in my hand, a fluffy cat curled up at my side and my client across from me. She had her 2 month old baby on a pillow on her lap. Her baby was sleeping, drunk on the breast milk she’d recently drank. The mother was in her pajamas looking comfortable and at peace.
“I really like these talks of ours,” she said to me in the course of the morning. She was relaxed. We’d been laughing at a silly story she shared.
When she laughed her eyes would get a little glassy. The line between laughter and tears was close some days. That’s what new motherhood was like. It had you teetering on the edge of joy and happiness, frustration and anger. Our talks dealt easily with all of those things.
“Only one of my friends was ever real with me about being a parent,” my client told me. “She said that there be days where you would just put your baby down in their crib and hide in your room and cry. I felt better after she told me that.”
And that’s why we talk.
Without a postpartum doula there in her home, drinking tea and talking with her about everything, and nothing, she’d be alone. She’d be alone with a creature she could rarely leave alone who depended on her for everything. She’d be stuck in her home day in and day out unable to do exactly what she wanted, dependent on the changing habits of her child, who is largely unable to communicate. She, who is used to talking to lots of people, accomplishing things every day, being effective and productive. She would feel stuck and alone and her reality would go unwitnessed.
For this reason, sometimes we just talk. For hours! And it’s wonderful. Most importantly the mother feels happy and satisfied. She gets help with baby, sure. She gets help with her home. But mostly, she gets help with her.
To find out more about having a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula help with baby and postpartum recovery call us at (289) 426 5170 and read more here.