When you’re awake and present, it’s clear to see what your postpartum doula is doing.
But what exactly do doulas do if you’re napping, your partner is back at work and your baby is sleeping? Here’s the lowdown of what I do and what you can expect of your postpartum doula.
Postpartum doulas ease the transition from a family of two to a family of three, four or more. They listen and respond to your concerns about feeding, sleeping, rashes, hiccups, umbilical cords, postpartum care and depression, offering you evidence-based information; they assist you with breastfeeding, latch and position; bottle feeding and burping, diaper changes, baby baths and more; they calm your new-parent nerves and help soothe your baby’s cries.
Sometimes just knowing that I’m in the house allows new parents to relax enough to take a shower and crawl into bed for a delicious nap. They know that if their baby stirs, I’ll be there to take care of them until the next feeding.
While you and your baby are getting the sleep you so desperately need, I’m making life a little easier for you. I may be…
- Starting a load of baby’s laundry
- Refilling the diaper stations
- Cleaning the dirty dishes in the sink
- Prepping a healthy snack for when you wake up
- Emptying the dishwasher
- Wiping down the kitchen counters
- Folding and putting away baby’s clothes
- Making a list of household items I noticed needs to be replenished
- Preparing a nutritious lunch or dinner
- Sterilizing bottles and nipples
- Organizing or tidying baby’s room (if baby is sleeping in their parent's room)
- Emptying the diaper pail
- Gathering resources or referrals for you, specific to your needs or requests
And when I’m not at work in your house, I can be found completing my required Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in order to maintain my doula certification. Some certifying agencies, like DONA, require 18 hours of CEUs every three years. I may be attending a seminar or conference; reviewing the latest research or presenting a talk. I may be refreshing my infant CPR skills to stay sharp and keep my certification current. I may be networking in my community and yours so I can refer my clients to people I know and trust.
Postpartum doulas support new parents when they bring their baby home and need emotional support and hands-on help. Whether a client is awake or asleep, postpartum doulas are working hard to serve the specific needs of a family. What would you like your postpartum doula to do for you?